PARIS — Citing the coronavirus crisis and its impact on the economy, Kering chairman and chief executive officer François-Henri Pinault has decided to reduce his fixed salary by 25 percent from April until the end of the year, joining a growing list of executives who are lowering their pay.
He and his longtime deputy, group managing director Jean-François Palus, are also foregoing the variable part of their annual salaries for this year.
A number of companies have announced pay cuts for top executives, a sticky issue at a time of crisis that highlights the deep divisions between vulnerable and wealthy classes across sectors.
In two recent examples, Swedish fast-fashion group Hennes & Mauritz, cut salaries for top executives by 20 percent for three months, and mall operator Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield’s ceo Christophe Cuvillier and the senior management team will have their salaries reduced by 25 percent during the lockdown period in France, when workers are on temporary unemployment.
With COVID-19 wreaking havoc on health-care systems and economies around the world, fashion industry executives have had to walk a particularly fine line on the communication front — under pressure to show expressions of solidarity while also coming under increased scrutiny.
Pinault’s annual fixed annual salary has stood at 1.2 million euros since 2017, and will be reduced to 960,000 euros this year.