Former Alcatel-Lucent CEO Michel Combes has seen his departure package from the company cut by almost half following a public outcry over the proposed €13.7 million payout.
Combes, who left Alcatel-Lucent after successfully leading the company to a proposed takeover by Nokia, was due to receive the multi-million sum in stock by 2018, despite only serving two years in the role.
News of the bumper package however led to a probe from financial regulator AMF and criticism from the country’s socialist government, who vowed to limit large executive payments when coming to power in 2012.
In a statement, Alcatel-Lucent said its board met yesterday to “review recommendations” made by France’s High Committee for Corporate Governance (HCCG) regarding Combes’ long term compensation.
Under the revised terms, Combes will now receive a maximum of €4.85 million in variable pay, which will “be paid only upon successful completion of the business combination with Nokia”, as well as €3.1 million as part of a non-competition clause.
“Taking into account the observations of the HCCG, the board resolved to pay Combes in cash, and not in shares”, Alcatel-Lucent added.
The non-compete provision also “prevents Combes from carrying out or accepting responsibilities with a group competitor”, with the company adding that its existence “likely influenced his decision to join an operator”.
Combes, who has since been appointed by cable-to-mobile group Altice as president, will also “remain at the company’s disposal until the closing of the operation with Nokia”, read the statement.
France’s economy minister hit out at Combes last week, stating that his departure from Alcatel-Lucent before the finalisation of the Nokia deal was “shocking” and showed “bad corporate behaviour”.
Alcatel-Lucent said it conducted the review “with full agreement of and upon the request of Combes” and its board “reaffirmed its appreciation of the performance of Combes in leading the company since 2013”.