The salaries of company bosses must have a limit and it is up to their supervisory boards to establish a ceiling, says finance minister Wouter Bos in an interview with the Financieele Dagblad on Tuesday morning.
‘Not only are absurdly high amounts paid, but the link between reward and performance has become unclear,’ says Bos.
Bos warns that if supervisory boards do not put a limit on top salaries ‘extra measures could be necessary’. He does not say what these would be.
Bos is not against top managers getting bonuses during takeovers. This is, he tells the FD, ‘logical’, but adds that the bonus must be made public.
The minister discussed the issue with top executives from companies including Philips, ABN Amro, Shell and Akzo Nobel last week.
Several company chairmen said on current affairs programme Nova last night that they agree that top salaries need to be controlled.
Akzo Nobel chief Kees van Lede said excessively high earnings are ‘bad for the motivation’ of other workers. And Jan Timmer of Philips warned ‘there is loyalty only to money’.
Bos is under growing pressure from his own Labour party and the left-wing opposition to take action on the issue of top salaries.
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