WASHINGTON (AFP) – The World Bank’s top chief financial officer Bertrand Badre gave up a controversial $94,000 bonus after a staff uproar over the issue, officials said Tuesday.
World Bank President Jim Yong Kim announced the change in a meeting with staff called urgently on the eve of the global crisis lender’s annual meetings in Washington, spokesman David Theis confirmed to AFP.
Badre’s bonus, granted despite Kim’s budget-slashing austerity programme at the bank, had sparked anger, and last week the World Bank Group Staff Association demanded Kim meet them to explain the issue.
Badre, from France, was hired in March 2013, one year into Kim’s tenure as president, and was awarded a $94,000 bonus for fiscal year 2014, in addition to his net annual salary of about $380,000.
A staff association memo on the issue last week described “major frustration over bonuses to senior management leading the cost-cutting exercise currently underway.”
It also referred to “a lack of communications from management … and the overall climate of fear and confusion that is permeating the corridors.”
After President Barack Obama nominated him to lead the Bank, Kim launched a sweeping reorganization aimed at cutting the $5 billion annual expenditures by $400 million over three years, including possible staff cuts.