A treasure of 100 million euros for the CEO of Schneider Electric

A treasure of 100 million euros for the CEO of Schneider Electric

Jean-Pascal Tricoire’s compensation exploded with the rise in his share price. Two-thirds of his premiums are received in Asia and are not taxed in France.

Tomorrow, Luc Rémont will be appointed CEO of EDF after the approval of deputies and senators. General Director of International Operations of Schneider Electric, he is the second manager to leave the group in six months. In April, Christel Heydemann, until now CEO of European activities, became CEO of Orange. They understood that the CEO of Schneider Electric was not willing to leave his position, which he will hold until 2025.

You don’t have to give up your spot when you’re one of the CAC 40’s most recognized… and highest paid bosses. Less known than Patrick Pouyanné (TotalElnergies) or Bernard Charlès (Dassault Systèmes), Jean-Pascal Tricoire has a treasure that he accumulated during his fifteen-year reign at Schneider Electric. He owns about 800,000 shares (793,239), according to the group’s annual report. At the current price of 127 euros, they are valued at… 100 million euros.

Since taking the reins of the group in 2006, he has received between 45,000 and 60,000 free shares each year. A “bonus” of about 3 million euros per year in addition to a fixed salary of 1 million euros and a variable salary of 2 million euros. These shares benefit from a market price that has tripled in ten years, illustrating the success of Schneider Electric. The size of the group has doubled under his leadership: turnover has increased from 15 to 30 billion and the (gross) margin from 2.6 to 5 billion.

The board of directors calms the game

Except Jean-Pascal Tricoire’s pay skyrocketed with the stock market. Since 2020 it has doubled and even peaked at €170 at the end of 2021, when the board of directors allocated new free shares to it. So much so that in March 2022, the CEO received 37,903 shares, much less than usual, “given the rise in the share price and the desire to maintain a spirit of moderation,” explains the annual report.

Schneider Electric management wanted to calm things down. At the end of 2021, Jean-Pascal Tricoire received 60,000 shares, awarded in 2019, valued at more than 10 million euros, according to company accounts. Amounts higher than the remuneration of the large French groups with which Schneider Electric is compared, such as Airbus or Air Liquide.

Few taxes paid in France

However, Jean-Pascal Tricoire is not a loser. For ten years, he has received two-thirds of his shares linked to his other roles as subsidiary managers: he is also president of the Asia region and president of Schneider Electric Asia-Pacific. This remuneration is not affected in France, where the group is headquartered, but in Hong Kong, where the CEO has lived for ten years. He therefore does not pay taxes in France for this part.

Part of his salary is also paid by the American subsidiary Schneider Electric USA that he manages. He, too, is not subject to tax in France. In total, “30% of Mr. Tricoire’s cash compensation (fixed, variable and supplementary compensation) is paid in exchange for his duties as CEO of Schneider Electric SE,” explains a spokesman. And therefore subject to tax in France, where the group’s headquarters are located, according to the tax authorities. This is not counting the nearly 800,000 shares that he owns and that, therefore, he did not sell. Taking them into account, around 15% of his annual remuneration is taxed in France.

Matthew Pechberty BFM Business Journalist

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