Casino shareholders have largely accepted that the CEO should double his salary, but they are worried about Monoprix, the group’s sales and the action that is dragging on.

At the General Assembly of the Casino group, yesterday, the atmosphere was quite tense…

Yes, general meetings are the time when the shareholders of a company come together. This is also the time when they vote on the closing of the accounts and the remuneration of the boss.

And there is always time for questions. This is where Jean-Charles Naouri, the CEO of Casino, 73, got pushed around. Some even booed him, because this year, the group does not pay a dividend. The savings of small holders are therefore not remunerated.

They also regret that the results and sales of the group, which owns the Casino, Géant, Franprix, Monoprix, Vival, Spar, Sherpa, Naturalia and C Discount brands, are at half mast. And they rail against the waltz of the leaders at the head of Monoprix. The last boss, Jean-Paul Mochet, left at the beginning of May. Monoprix is ​​on its third boss in three years.

And yet Jean-Charles Naouri had his salary almost doubled

Hang on, this part of the chronicle will seem a little surreal to you. Among his peers in the CAC 40 and SBF 120, the CEO of Casino was part of the “small” remuneration, with “only” 480,000 euros in fixed salary and more than 330,000 euros in variable.

This fixed salary, mind you, was “lower the median of the CAC 40”. This is what one of his collaborators explained to me. However, having bosses' salaries that are too low would be bad for the attractiveness of the Paris market, it does not make American bosses dream. With this specious argument, Jean-Charles Naouri asked his shareholders to raise his fixed price to 825,000 euros per year, to which variable will always be added.

And the shareholders voted for, even if they are not happy with the results?

As Mr Naouri has control of the group, he was certain of the result. The approval was overwhelming.

But it's still shocking. You should know that Casino is so indebted due to the financial arrangements of its boss that the group found itself in the safeguard procedure during the Covid and was saved by the commercial court, which in the name of the virus, postponed its main debt maturities in 2025. His bankers BNP Paribas and Crédit Agricole did not dare to withdraw their confidence in him, because he employs 208,000 people.

And then the money, the stores need it, as pointed out by a shareholder who complained about the dilapidation of certain Monoprix, which is no longer the nugget of the group as it once was. All this causes the stock market to drag. But we expect that after the elections, there will be reconciliations, marriages in the retail sector. Is Casino still desirable?