Financial Times

Top executives join France exodus
Financial Times

New evidence of top French executives leaving the country has emerged as President François Hollande battles a stalling economy and tumbling approval ratings. Two senior executives at Moët Hennessy, the champagne and cognac arm of the LVMH luxury group, are moving to London from Paris and the head of Dassault Systèmes, the software arm of Dassault Aviation, said some senior managers of his company had left and he was considering following suit.

Bernard Charlès, chief executive of Dassault Systèmes, was sharply critical of the high tax policies of Mr Hollande’s Socialist government, telling Le Monde newspaper in an interview: “Residing in France has become a big handicap. Very largely, our hiring of top managers will have to be done elsewhere than in France.”

The government is looking to industry to help relaunch the economy. But Mr Charlès said the tax regime had put “all the digital sector in danger”. He criticised increases in taxes on capital, stock options and share awards, saying that in a €28m disposal of shares he made in December he had to sell “more shares than I had acquired” to pay a tax bill on some maturing stock.

One person familiar with the matter said other members of the executive board were moving to Singapore and Switzerland.

Existe encore des gens assez idéologues et dogmatiques pour nier l’existence de la courbe de Laffer ?