Why Dominique Leroy wanted to leave Proximus

Recently, we witnessed the announcement of former Proximus CEO Dominique Leroy saying that she was switching to KPN, followed by the cancellation of that deal. According to executive remuneration expert Xavier Baeten, there are three reasons why she wanted to leave the Belgian telecom operator.

The first reason is the relative underpayment. He realises that this is a sensitive topic, but he states that if you would compare her salary with the available market data, she should have been paid double. This makes CEOs like Dominique Leroy more open to invitations from other companies or competitors.

A second reason is probably the digital transformation Proximus was undergoing, and which must have caused a huge counterwind from unions.

A third reason is the ownership structure of Proximus. On the one hand the government holds the majority of the shares, whilst on the other hand the company is listed at the stock exchange. This situation can turn into a dangerous cocktail.

Finally, Xavier Baeten gives some extra recommendations for the future. First, he feels that executives should have a personal financial expert who can advise them for example on when to buy and sell their own shares. In such a way accusations of insider trading can be avoided. Secondly, he thinks the media should remain more objective and avoid accusations without knowing all sides of the story.

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