Former Philips boss accepts bonus, despite shareholder anger

Former Philips chief executive Frans van Houten has refused to waive his 2022 bonus of €450,000 despite the problems facing the company and shareholder anger, the Financieele Dagblad has reported.

The three other Philips board members have all said they will not take the bonus they are entitled to over last year, in line with shareholders’ wishes. At the 2022 AGM shareholders voted overwhelmingly against the 2021 bonus plans because of the downturn in the company’s fortunes.

Van Houten, who resigned last year, six months ahead of schedule, received total renumeration of €1.75 million last year, including the bonus, the FD said. He was succeeded by Roy Jakobs who outlined plans for a major reorganisation in January.

Jakobs described 2022 as a ‘very disappointing’ year for the company in the annual report.

Van Houten’s total package could be still higher because he has the right to a €2.9 million share deal, but its real value will only become apparent in the years to come, and will depend on the company’s performance, the FD pointed out.

Philips, which transformed itself into a medical technology company under Van Houten, is in heavy weather because of problems with its sleep apnea apparatus, and its share price has gone down from €50 to €16 over the past two years since the scandal broke.

Unions and shareholders have described the former Philips’ boss decision to keep his bonus as a ‘major error’. White collar union De Unie said it ‘did not understand’ the bonus, given Philips is scrapping 10,000 jobs in total and had asked workers to moderate their pay demands.

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