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L’établissement d’une juste rémunération du PCD | Responsabilité absolue du C.A.

3 juin 2013

Aujourd’hui, je vous propose la lecture de l’article d’Adam Davidson, publié dans le New York Times du 29 mai 2013. L’auteur présente une excellente analyse des facteurs qui influencent la rémunération du PCD et montre comment le conseil d’administration doit jouer un rôle capital dans l’établissement d’une rémunération juste et efficace.

Voici un extrait de l’article. Bonne lecture. Vos commentaires sont les bienvenus.

C.E.O.’s Don’t Need to Earn Less. They Need to Sweat More

« Most C.E.O.’s used to be able to handle their pay negotiations in private, but the Dodd-Frank reforms, which were passed in 2010, now give shareholders the right to vote on executive compensation. This has helped usher in a so-called “say on pay” revolution, which tries to stop executives from making more money when their companies don’t do that well. In Switzerland, a recent nationwide referendum, passed 2 to 1, gave shareholders the right to restrict the pay for the heads of Swiss companies. The European Union is likely to vote on a similar measure by the end of the year.

Economically speaking, this is more than a little odd. Shareholders should be motivated to pay their C.E.O.’s according to their success. But doing so involves a tricky dance known to game theorists as the principal-agent problem: how does an employer (the principal) motivate a worker (the agent) to pursue the principal’s interest? This principal-agent problem is everywhere. (Do you pay a contractor per day of work or per project? Do you pay salespeople by the hour or on commission?) It becomes particularly thorny when the agent knows a lot more about his job than the principal.

Boards and chief executives don’t often suffer from Costanza-like ineptitude, but they are harder to rein in. They are often rewarded when they don’t succeed but are not usually penalized enough when they do a lackluster job. Lucian Bebchuk, a professor at Harvard Law School and perhaps the leading academic voice for corporate reform, told me that the problem isn’t (just) greed. It’s the boards of directors. The directors are supposed to represent the stockholders’ interests, he says, but most public firms, where C.E.O.’s can have considerable influence over board appointments, neuter those interests. They are structured so that a board tends to side with its chief.

Excessive C.E.O. pay, Bebchuk says, is a manifestation of a deeper problem. A bad C.E.O. pay package can cost shareholders millions; a corporation that is being poorly overseen by its board can cost billions. “Shareholder rights in the U.S. are still quite weak relative to what they are in other advanced economies,” he explained. His solution is to pass laws that make it easier for shareholders to vote out boardmembers who fail to discipline underperforming chief executives. This, he argues, will motivate them to push back against executives that do an underwhelming job. At the very least, all the attention would keep boardmembers and C.E.O.’s on their toes. And a multitude of better-run companies would result in billions, perhaps trillions, of wealth returned to the economy ».

Principal Agent Problems in Government (

Remuneration Programs: A Principal Agent Theory perspective of CEO Remuneration Programs (

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