According to the investor organization, a signing bonus of such proportions has never been used before at a listed company in the Netherlands. Previously, insurer Aegon was the most generous reward in this area, with more than 1 million euros for CEO Lard Friese, who came over from rival NN Group.
Fabien Simon, who started in September, receives the compensation from the coffee company as compensation for lost remuneration at his previous employer JAB. That is the major shareholder of JDE, which also carries brands such as Tassimo, L’Or and Pickwick. The VEB thinks this is a bad signal. “After all, those previous rewards were not paid out for a reason. The director did not keep to agreements made in advance, for example by leaving prematurely.”
Signing bonuses have been controversial for some time and not only in the Netherlands. For example, the transfer of the well-known banker Andrea Orcel to the Spanish bank Santander was canceled after a fuss about a signing bonus of 50 million euros. In the Netherlands, Orcel is also referred to as ABN AMRO’s ‘butcher’ or ‘wrecker’. In 2007, the Italian, as an investment banker of the American Merrill Lynch, was the brain behind the split-up of the former very large Dutch bank.
The VEB points out that the signing bonus for Simon can also increase quickly thanks to a special clause. He is obliged to invest the millions of euros in specially created shares that are identical to the shares traded on the stock exchange, but also have ‘double profit rights’. Altogether, his package of free shares could reach EUR 33 million.
From a technical point of view, there is still to be a vote on the signing bonus, but according to the VEB, this is a well-done race. JAB still owns more than 60 percent of the shares of JDE.
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