Daimler CEO, top executives take pay cut in response to crisis

| April 6, 2020 More

Daimler CEO Ola Kallenius and members of the automaker’s management board will reduce their fixed compensation by 20 percent until the end of the year in response to the effects of the coronavirus crisis.

Other senior executives will see their pay drop by 10 percent for the next three months, Daimler said in a statement on Thursday.

The cuts started April 1.

Kallenius’s fixed salary in 2019, the year he took over from longtime Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche, was 1.34 million euros ($1.47 million). He also earned 3.5 million euros in variable compensation, including shares and performance bonuses.

In addition to Kallenius, there are seven members of Daimler’s management board. Other management board members’ base salary ranged from around 400,000 euros to 800,000 euros, according to Daimler’s annual report

With production halted in Europe and North America, and most dealerships closed, automakers are seeking ways to preserve cash and avoid mass layoffs. A number of companies have put workers on reduced time, and are negotiating with unions and governments to put compensation plans in place.

Earlier this week, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles CEO Mike Manley told employees that his salary would be cut by half for three months starting April as the company deals with the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. The other 19 members of FCA’s Group Executive Council will take a 30 percent cut. FCA Group Chairman John Elkann and other members of the board of directors will receive no compensation for the rest of the year.

Members of Daimler’s supervisory board will also take a 20 percent cut. In Germany, supervisory board members do not have management functions. Their role is to make strategic decisions and appoint members of the management board. At Daimler they receive fixed fees, attendance fees and expenses. The supervisory board consists of 20 members, half of whom represent employees.

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