Shareholder action follows the introduction of “say on pay” guidelines to France’s corporate governance code in 2013, requiring executive remuneration to be submitted to a shareholder vote.
The Financial Times reports that executives at Danone, Renault, Vinci, Veolia and Schneider Electric have all seen substantial groups among their shareholders vote against pay deals.
According to commentators, French shareholders are becoming “much more demanding on the issue” and calling for change.
Earlier this year investor advisory group ISS published its view that shareholders of drugs group Sanofi should vote against pay arrangements for its former chief executive Chris Viehbacher and the newly appointed CEO Olivier Brandicourt.
According to Reuters, ISS objected to Brandicourt’s “joining bonus” and the pay-off for Viehbacher. Sanofi responded with an open note on its website to shareholders insisting ISS’s analysis was a “real error”.