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Richemont’s HR director ousted from the board

Richemont-headquarters-Geneva

Richemont group’s human resources director Sophie Guieysse is stepping down from the senior executive committee with immediate effect, and will not stand for re-election to the board of directors, the company announced this morning in a one sentence statement.

Reports last week said that Ms Guieysse had been put on gardening leave while complaints over her management style and remuneration are investigated.

Richemont issued a statement to investors on June 5 saying that it had “initiated a comprehensive review of its human resources function, which may have an impact on the composition of its senior executive committee”.

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No details were revealed about whether Ms Guieysse remains employed by Richemont in another role. Her LinkedIn profile remains unchanged this morning.

Ms Guieysse had been part of a team looking to reduce costs for Richemont’s 37,000 employees in light of the current pandemic.

Sophie Guieysse.

Her task was made considerably more difficult and controversial when Richemont’s annual report for 2019-20, published in May, revealed her total remuneration rose from CHF 1.9 million to CHF 3 million (around $3 million) over the prior year.

According to a Bloomberg report quoting an anonymous source, Richemont has said it may make changes to its senior executive committee and the company’s top management have accepted a 20% reduction in base salary until further notice.

Cash bonuses for this year have been reduced 25% from the initially planned amount.

Total compensation for the senior executive committee in the year through March increased 36% to CHF 41.4 million Swiss francs ($43 million), including salaries and performance-related pay.

Chairman Johann Rupert’s pay, which is reportedly donated to charity, was cut in half for the current financial year but he will top up payments to the good causes he supports.

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Rob Corder

The author Rob Corder