In an intensive decision-making process over the past few weeks, justified public expectations and contractual conditions have been weighed up against each other.
The remuneration of Board of Management members at Volkswagen was based on the considerable economic success of the company over a series of years. The remuneration system at Volkswagen considers a long-term approach. Financial developments in 2015 stand out as an exception from this series and lead to an automatic reduction in the amount to be paid.
As a result of the current performance figures, which are poorer, there will be a reduction in the variable remuneration covering several years and also in the individual performance-related bonus component. The same applies to the four-year long-term incentive component, which will be 25 percent lower than for the previous year.
This effect will also be felt over the next few years.
In addition to this calculated reduction in the variable components of Board of Management remuneration, the Supervisory Board has accepted the proposal made by the Board of Management to reduce the Board's contractual rights to remuneration still further on a voluntary basis.
Furthermore, at the suggestion of the Board of Management, it has been decided that the variable remuneration for current Board of Management members will initially not be paid in full. The payment of 30 percent will be postponed for three years. This amount is to be converted into virtual preference shares and will only be paid in full if the price of the preference share rises by at least 25 percent at the end of the retention period, compared with the initial reference price.
This will present both a risk and an incentive for the Board of Management as further parts of the remuneration will be linked to the future business success of the Volkswagen Group.
In total, the variable remuneration of an ordinary member of the Board of Management will fall by 39 percent (from €5.3 million in 2014 to €3.2 million in 2015). The amount of variable remuneration actually paid for 2015 will be about €1 million lower than this figure (€2.2 million) or 57 percent lower than the amount paid for the previous year.
This remuneration proposal takes into account the current crisis and also considers that the business of the Group may develop successfully in the future.
The Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft, Matthias Müller, emphasized: "The Board of Management is making tremendous efforts to reinforce the trust of customers, to motivate the workforce and to safeguard employment at all locations. The proposal concerning remuneration has therefore been made unanimously by the Board of Management. This arrangement expresses the commitment of the Board of Management to the company, its employees and its customers."
The Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Hans Dieter Pötsch, also stated that he was retroactively waiving part of his variable remuneration for the 2015 fiscal year amounting to €2.3 million at his own request.
Significant reduction in variable Board of Management remuneration
In the light of the current overall situation of the Volkswagen Group, the Supervisory Board and the Board of Management of Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft have agreed on a reduction in variable Board of Management remuneration for the 2015 fiscal year.