France asks ex-Air France head to return US$500,000


PARIS–France’s finance minister personally asked the former head of Air France-KLM to return a 400,000-euro (US$497,520) payout on Thursday, as the country’s new Socialist government tries to rein in executive pay.

Pierrre Moscovici said on France Inter radio that the money, paid as compensation for a non-compete clause in the executive’s contract, “doesn’t go in the direction of decency.”

The French government, which holds a 15.9-percent stake in the Franco-Dutch carrier, will vote against the payment at a shareholder’s meeting later in the day. That vote is considered only a technicality and the payment has already been made to ex-CEO Pierre-Henri Gourgeon, who resigned in October.