CEO of rights holders’ org gets 500,000 euro severance money

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records-branko-collinFor the second time in five years composers’ and performers’ rights organisation Buma/Stemra has lost a substantial sum in severance money to high paid executives. According to a news report which the organisation released earlier this week, chairman of the board Hein van der Ree will leave Buma/Stemra next February over a wage dispute, taking half a million euro with him.

Van der Ree wanted to be paid 387,889 euro per year for running an organisation of 250 employees, but a recent law declares that managers of quangos like Buma/Stemra cannot earn a salary higher than 130% of that of a government minister. Van der Ree refused to take a cut and as a result the board of Buma/Stemra is cutting him loose.

Composers were quick to point at the difference between the ways they themselves, as the actual creators, and intermediaries like Van der Ree are rewarded. Singer song writer Pim van de Werken calculated that a popular radio channel like 3FM should play his songs every minute of every hour of every day for more than a month to make as much as Van der Ree’s severance pay.

In 2011 Buma/Stemra had to fire Van der Ree’s predecessor Cees van Rij for reasons it did not disclose at the time. Van Rij received 700,000 euro in severance money. In 2014 the organisation collected 190 million euro of which it distributed 163 million euro to its members.

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