Feeling sorry for Gerard Le Fur? After all, he was squeezed out of the CEO seat at Sanofi-Aventis to clear the way for GlaxoSmithKline's Chris Viehbacher. This, after less than two years in the top job, but many, many years in the company ranks.
Well, you can hold your sympathy for now. According to Sanofi's regulatory filings, the board agreed in February to pay Le Fur a "termination benefit" of 24 months' pay. According to the Financial Times, that would amount to as much as $11.3 million--before stock options and other benefits. If the golden parachute doesn't include bonuses, though, that number could be reduced by almost $2 million. And if the board decides to call Le Fur's ouster as a "retirement," then he gets only 20 months' pay.
Sanofi is set to release the financial costs of its management shift, and a multimillion-dollar chute could meet with a backlash in France. CEO salaries there typically aren't nearly as large as those at U.S. companies. And golden parachutes in particular have drawn scrutiny, so much so that legislators have introduced a measure that would peg severance pay to company performance.
- read the Financial Times article