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Richemont’s HR director under fire as her $3 million package comes to light during Covid cost-cutting

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Richemont has responded to media reports that the group’s human resources director Sophie Guieysse has been put on gardening leave while complaints over her management style and remuneration are investigated.

Coverage of the situation has focused on Ms Guieysse’s rocketing pay and other performance-related compensation while overseeing significant cuts to staff and salaries across the group.

On Friday, June 5, Richemont issued a statement to investors reading: “Further to media reports, Richemont confirms that it has 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 decision has been made so far. The Company has no further comments to make at this stage”.

Sophie Guieysse.

Ms Guieysse has been making difficult decisions to reduce costs for Richemont’s 37,000 employees in light of the current pandemic.

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.

3 Comments

  1. Some managers’work goes unchecked for years and that is when unjustified high pay and bonus surface for staff that have little merit in the company good performance.
    A work-force that numerous is a further reason for surprise.
    What has she been doing all these months ? When I think of some people sacrifices to acquire certain watches and
    the sheer waist provided by such astronomical pay I seriously wonder about human nature and question the value and meaning of supervision in the watch industry.

  2. Her pay is far smaller than that of the others (all men) in the executive committee …. the HR function is one of the most important in a company. Particularly in a service business. Wow, big scandal that a woman makes six figures ? Apalling reporting. You need to move out of the dar ages.

  3. I’m sure this was not her sole decision to increase executives committee salary so others should also be called out. It is also not fair that all these executives got a huge salary increase when all the employees didn’t and on top of it received a cut in their bonus.

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Rob Corder

The author Rob Corder