L'Oreal CEO gives up stock options

PARIS, April 16, 2009 (AFP) -French cosmetics giant L'Oreal said on Thursday 16 April its chief executive, Jean-Paul Agon, had given up his stock options for 2009.


Jean-Paul Agon, PDG of L'Oréal - Photo : AFP

"For 2009 he has abandoned his stock options plan that had been proposed by the board of directors," a company spokesman said after a shareholders general assembly.

Agon's total compensation came to 3.53 million euros (4.6 million dollars) -- making him one of the best-paid executives in France -- in 2008 when L'Oreal's profits were flat.

Stock options have become a highly controversial issue in France, with workers at several big companies protesting such benefits for bosses at a time of financial crisis.

The government last month banned stock options and curbed executive perks at companies bailed out by the state until the end of next year.

The measures outlaw bonuses at firms that announce major layoffs while receiving state aid.

They also curb bonuses and severance packages at all public companies until the end of 2010.

Stock options, generally given to top corporate executives, allow for the purchase of shares in the company at a certain price over a specified period of time.

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