Executive Officers Severance Agreement - Compaq Computer Corp.
PERSONAL & CONFIDENTIAL
I want to take this opportunity to reiterate how important you are as a senior member of Compaq's management team and to thank you for your commitment to our success. As you know, we face many opportunities and challenges as our industry continues to evolve, and this agreement, which addresses your entitlement to severance benefits should you separate from the company while serving as an executive officer, is intended to give you the security to focus on your contributions as we move forward.
TERM OF AGREEMENT: This agreement shall be effective for an initial one-year term, beginning on January 1, 2001 and ending on December 31, 2001, and will be automatically renewed thereafter on an annual basis for successive one-year terms unless Compaq provides you with written notice that the Agreement will not be renewed ("Notice of Non-Renewal") no later than 60 days prior to the expiration of the then-current term. Notwithstanding the foregoing, this agreement shall automatically terminate 90 days after notice from Compaq that you are no longer an executive officer of the company unless you have resigned prior to the end of such 90-day period.
SEPARATION FROM EMPLOYMENT: Your employment with Compaq is at-will. Under certain circumstances, however, you will be entitled to severance benefits should you separate from employment during the term of this Agreement. The following provisions govern your compensation and benefits should you separate from employment during the term of this Agreement:
QUALIFYING TERMINATION: Should you incur a Qualifying Termination (as defined below) you will be eligible for the following payments and benefits, provided that you remain in compliance with your obligations under the terms of this Agreement, including, but not limited to the provisions regarding non-competition, non-solicitation, and non-disparagement, and the Release (as defined below). Should you fail to comply with your obligations under this Agreement or the Release, Compaq may, in addition to any other available remedies, cease making any payment or benefit provided for herein.
SEPARATION PAYMENT: A separation payment equivalent, before applicable deductions, to two times the sum of your base salary and your target annual bonus (the "Separation Payment"); provided, however, that if you incur a Qualifying Termination (as defined below) within 180 days following a Change in Control (as defined in Compaq's 1989 Equity Incentive Plan), the Separation Payment will be equivalent, before applicable deductions, to three times the sum of your base salary and your target annual bonus. For purposes of calculating the Severance Payment, your base salary and target annual bonus shall be the greater of your (i) base salary and target annual bonus as of the date you separate from employment or (ii) your base salary and target annual bonus as in effect immediately prior to any reduction that entitles you to resign for Good Reason (as defined below) under this Agreement.
The Separation Payment shall be paid as follows: 50% of the Separation Payment shall be paid to you within ten business days of your execution of the Release, with the remaining 50% to be paid in equal installments, without interest, commencing on Compaq's second regularly scheduled payroll following your execution of the Release and ending with Compaq's regularly scheduled payroll twenty-four months later (the "Separation Pay Period"). In the event of a change in payroll practice during the Separation Pay Period, Compaq may adjust the amounts of such installments as necessary to ensure that the total amount paid is equal to the Separation Payment, as defined above.
HEALTH BENEFIT CONTINUATION: Compaq will pay the COBRA premiums for continuation of healthcare benefits for you and your eligible dependents during the Separation Pay Period. You will be responsible for all other costs, such as co-payments and deductibles.
DEFINITION OF A QUALIFYING TERMINATION: For purposes of this Agreement, a Qualifying Termination shall mean any of the following:
termination of your employment without Cause. For purposes of this Agreement, Cause shall mean a determination by the Chief Executive Officer, after consultation with the
Human Resources Committee of the Board of Directors and outside legal counsel, that you have engaged in actions or omissions contrary to the best interests of Compaq or that you have materially
breached any of the terms and conditions of this Agreement.
within 90 days of the occurrence of a Good Reason, which, for purposes of this Agreement, shall mean: (a) a material reduction in your job responsibilities,
duties, and/or status within
the Company, (b) a reduction of 10% or greater in your annual base salary as of the date of this Agreement unless such reduction is part of an across-the-board reduction
in base annual salaries of all executive officers of Compaq, or (c) receipt of a Notice of Non-Renewal. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you will not be eligible for a Separation
Payment unless you provide the Board of Directors with 60 days written notice of your intent to resign for Good Reason, containing details regarding the grounds for your resignation, and allow
the Board of Directors to take action to remove or correct the Good Reason within 30 days. If the Board of Directors fails to take action to remove or correct the Good Reason within
30 days of receiving notice of same, your resignation for Good Reason shall become effective.
- Involuntary termination of your employment by the Company for any reason within 180 days following a Change in Control.
You will not be deemed to have incurred a Qualifying Termination unless you execute, within 30 days of your separation, a release of claims in a form substantially similar to the form attached as Exhibit A hereto (the "Release"). Under no circumstances shall your resignation or termination from employment as a result of Disability (as defined below) or death constitute a Qualifying Termination.
SEPARATION DUE TO DEATH OR DISABILITY: In the event of separation from employment as a result of Disability or death and contingent upon your, or, in the event of your death, your estate's, execution of a Release, you, or in the event of your death, your estate, will receive a one-time lump sum Special Separation Payment equivalent, before applicable deductions, to 1.5 times the sum of your base salary and your target annual bonus, both as determined as of the date of your separation from employment. Both the Special Separation Payment and the Prorated Annual Incentive shall be subject to applicable deductions. All other compensation and benefits shall be determined by the terms of the governing plan or program. For purposes of the Agreement, Disability shall mean your inability to perform the essential functions of your position as a result of illness or injury for a period of six consecutive months.
INVOLUNTARY TERMINATION FOR CAUSE/RESIGNATION WITHOUT GOOD REASON: If you are involuntarily terminated for Cause or resign your employment for any reason other than a Good Reason, you will not be entitled to any severance payment under this Agreement. Compaq will have no other obligations under this Agreement, and all compensation and benefits will be determined by the terms of the governing plan or program.
EXCISE TAX GROSS-UP: In the event of a Change in Control, Compaq, at its sole expense, shall cause its independent auditors promptly to review all payments, distributions and benefits that have been made to or provided to, and are to be made to or provided to, you under this Agreement, and any other agreement and plan benefiting you, to determine the applicability of Section 4999 of the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the "Code"). If Compaq's independent auditors determine that any such payments, distributions or benefits are subject to excise taxes as provided under Section 4999 of the Code (the "Excise Tax"), then such payment, distributions, or
benefits (the "Original Payment(s)") shall be increased by an amount (the "Gross-up Amount") such that, after the Company withholds all taxes due, including any excise and employment taxes imposed on the Gross-up Amount, you will retain a net amount equal to the Original Payment(s) less income and employment taxes, if any, imposed on the Original Payment(s). To facilitate the calculation of the applicable excise tax, you agree to provide Compaq's auditors with copies of your Forms W-2 for the tax years they deem necessary for their use in determining the application of Section 4999 and calculating any amounts payable under this provision. Compaq's auditors will perform the calculations in conformance with the foregoing provisions and provide you with a copy of their calculation. The intent of the parties is that Compaq shall be solely responsible for, and shall pay, any Excise Tax on the Original Payment(s) and Gross-up Amount and any income and employment taxes (including, without limitation, penalties and interest) imposed on any Gross-up Amount. If no determination by Compaq's auditors is made prior to the time you are required to file a tax return reflecting any portion of the Original Payment(s), you will be entitled to receive a Gross-up Amount calculated on the basis of the Original Payment(s) you report in such tax return, within 30 days of the filing of such tax return. You agree that, for the purposes of the foregoing sentence, you are not required to file a tax return until you have obtained the maximum number and length of filing extensions available. If any tax authority finally determines that a greater Excise Tax should be imposed upon the Original Payment(s) than is determined by Compaq's independent auditors or reflected in your tax returns, you shall be entitled to receive the full Gross-up Amount calculated on the basis of the additional amount of Excise Tax determined to be payable by such tax authority (including related penalties and interest) from Compaq within 30 days of such determination as long as you have taken all reasonable actions to minimize any such amounts. If any tax authority finally determines the Excise Tax to be less than the amount taken into account hereunder in calculating the Gross-up Amount, you shall repay to Compaq, within 30 days of your receipt of a refund resulting from that determination, the portion of the Gross-up Amount attributable to such reduction (plus the refunded portion of Gross-up Amount attributable to the Excise Tax and federal, state and local income and employment taxes imposed on the Gross-up Amount being repaid, less any additional income tax resulting from such refund).
COVENANTS: In your role with Compaq (which, for purposes of these Covenants includes Compaq Computer Corporation, its subsidiaries, affiliates, related entities, and successors), you will have access to confidential and proprietary information, and your access to such information is intrinsic to, and essential to the success of, your employment by the Company. In consideration of your access to such information, your continuing employment with the Company, and the payments and benefits provided for under this Agreement, you agree to the following Covenants, which you agree are reasonable and necessary for the protection of Compaq's legitimate business interests, including, but not limited to, good will and information which is confidential and proprietary to Compaq.
CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION/INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY: You agree that you will not, at any time during or after your employment by Compaq, make any unauthorized use or disclosure of Confidential Information (as defined below) or Intellectual Property (as defined below), including confidential information or intellectual property of third parties to which you had access as a result of your employment. Nothing in this Agreement shall prohibit you from complying with a court order to produce information, but you agree to provide Compaq notice, immediately upon becoming aware of such requirement, of any subpoena, order, or other mandate to produce information which may be Confidential Information and to cooperate fully with Compaq in obtaining such protection as Compaq deems appropriate.
During your employment by Compaq, you agree to promptly disclose in writing to Compaq any Intellectual Property, whether originated, conceived, created, made, developed or invented in whole or in part by you, and maintain adequate and current records thereof. You assign, transfer, and convey to Compaq, or its designees or successors, your entire right, title and interest in any Intellectual Property that you originate, conceive, create, make, develop or invent, whether as sole inventor, creator,
developer or originator or as a joint inventor, creator, developer or originator with others, whether made within or without the usual working hours or upon the premises of Compaq or elsewhere, during your employment.
If, subsequent to separation from Compaq, you perform an act at Compaq's request or direction, or provide assistance to Compaq, as described in this paragraph, then Compaq shall compensate you for your time at a rate of one thousand dollars per day. Either during or subsequent to your employment, upon the request and at the expense of Compaq, but for no consideration in addition to that due to you pursuant to your employment with Compaq and this Agreement, you shall execute, acknowledge, and deliver to Compaq or its designee any instruments that in the judgment of Compaq may be necessary or desirable to secure or maintain for the benefit of Compaq or its designee adequate patent, copyright, and other property rights with respect to Intellectual Property within the scope of this Agreement, including, but not limited to: (a) domestic and foreign patent and copyright applications, (b) any other applications for securing, protecting, or registering property rights, and (c) powers of attorney, assignments, oaths, affirmations, supplemental oaths and sworn statements. You shall also assist Compaq or its designee, as required, to draft such instruments, to obtain such rights, and to enforce such rights, provided that such assistance will not unreasonably interfere with your other endeavors.
For purposes of this Agreement, "Confidential Information" means any confidential or private information, not generally known to the public, related to the business or operations (past, present or future) of Compaq. You agree that Confidential Information encompasses a broad scope of information that includes, without limitation: business plans and strategies; information regarding the identities, skills, qualities, competencies, characteristics, expertise, or experience of the directors, officers, or employees of Compaq; information regarding the compensation practices of, or payments made to or by, Compaq; the contents of communications, oral or written, with, by or between directors, officers, employees, or agents of Compaq; statements of fact or opinion or mixed statements of fact and opinion if such statements are based on information or events to which you had access as a result of your employment by Compaq; and similar information related to third parties to whom Compaq owes a duty of confidentiality or privacy.
Intellectual Property includes, without limitation, any and all information, ideas, concepts, improvements, discoveries, designs, inventions, trade secrets, know-how, manufacturing processes, product formulae, design specifications, writings and other works of authorship, computer programs, and business methods, whether patentable or not, which are originated by, conceived by, created by, made by, developed by, invented by, learned by, or disclosed to you, individually or in conjunction with others, during your employment by Compaq (whether during business hours or otherwise and whether on Compaq's premises or otherwise) which relate to Compaq's business, products, or services (including, without limitation, all such information relating to corporate opportunities, research, financial and sales data, pricing and trading terms, evaluations, opinions, interpretations, acquisition prospects, the identity of customers or their requirements, the identity of key contacts with in the customer's organizations or within the organization of acquisition prospects, or marketing and merchandising techniques, prospective names, and marks). The term "Intellectual Property" also includes all rights provided by the law of any jurisdiction throughout the world with respect to such information, ideas, concepts, improvements, discoveries, designs, inventions, trade secrets, know-how, manufacturing processes, product formulae, design specifications, writings and other works of authorship, computer programs, and business methods, including, without limitation, the right to maintain the same as confidential information, the right to first publication, the right to obtain patents and industrial rights thereon, all rights of copyright, all trademark rights, and the right to protect the same against acts of unfair competition.
NON-COMPETITION AND NO SOLICITATION: During your employment with Compaq and, should your employment terminate for any reason (whether voluntary or involuntary), for the greater of
(a) a period of 24 months following your separation or (b) any Separation Pay Period, you agree that you will not, directly or indirectly, on your own behalf or on the behalf of others, in any geographic area or market where Compaq is conducting any business:
in any business competitive with the business conducted by Compaq at the time of your separation or set forth in any then-existing business plan;
advice or services to, or otherwise assist, any other person, association, or entity who is engaged, directly or indirectly, in any business competitive with the business
conducted by Compaq at the time of your separation or set forth in any then-existing business; or
- Solicit, influence, or induce, or attempt to solicit, influence, or induce, any employee of Compaq to terminate his or her employment with Compaq, or recruit, hire or assist in the recruitment or hiring of any such employee by any person, association, or entity not affiliated with Compaq.
You understand that these restrictions may limit your ability to engage in certain businesses anywhere in the world during the period provided for above, but you also acknowledge and agree that you will receive sufficiently high remuneration and other benefits under this Agreement to justify such restriction.
NON-DISPARAGEMENT: During your employment with Compaq and, should your employment terminate for any reason (whether voluntary or involuntary), for the greater of (a) a period of 24 months following your separation or (b) any Separation Pay Period, you agree that you will not make any comment or take any action which disparages, defames, or places in a negative light Compaq or its past and present officers, directors, and employees.
REMEDIES: You acknowledge that money damages would not be sufficient remedy for any breach of the foregoing Covenants and that Compaq shall be entitled to specific performance and injunctive relief to enforce these Covenants or to remedy a breach or threatened breach of these Covenants. Such remedies shall not be deemed the exclusive remedies for a breach of these Covenants, but shall be in addition to all remedies available at law or in equity to Compaq, including, without limitation, the recovery of damages from you and any agent acting on your behalf in connection with such breach.
ARBITRATION: Except for claims by Compaq arising out of your alleged breach of obligations under the Covenants section of this Agreement, all disputes arising out of or relating to this Agreement or to your employment or the termination thereof, will be resolved by final and binding arbitration in Houston, Texas, under the Federal Arbitration Act in accordance with the Employment Dispute Resolution Rules then in effect with the American Arbitration Association. This paragraph shall apply both during and after termination of the employment relationship. Either party shall have the right to enforce this agreement to arbitrate in either federal or state court.
All proceedings and documents prepared in connection with any arbitration under this Agreement shall be Confidential Information and, unless otherwise required by law, the contents or subject matter thereof shall not be disclosed to any person other than the parties to the proceedings, their counsel, witnesses and experts, the arbitrator, and, if court enforcement of an arbitration award is sought, the court and court staff hearing such matter.
Should a dispute under this Agreement be submitted to arbitration and you prevail in that arbitration, you will be entitled to recover your reasonable expenses you incurred in connection with that arbitration, including but not limited to attorneys' fees and arbitrators' fees, from Compaq. Should Compaq prevail, each party shall pay its own costs.
IMPACT ON OTHER COMPENSATION AND BENEFIT PROGRAMS: There shall be no duplication between payments made under this Agreement and any payment or benefit under any other
plan, program, agreement, or arrangement. Payments under this Agreement shall not be considered compensation for purposes of any compensation, deferred compensation, insurance, pension, savings, or other benefit plan.
CONTROLLING LAW: Except where otherwise provided for herein, this Agreement shall be governed in all respects by the laws of the State of Texas, excluding any conflict-of-law rule or principle that might refer the construction of the Agreement to the laws of another State or country.
NOTICES: Any notices under this agreement that are required to be given to the Company shall be addressed to Corporate Secretary, Compaq Computer Corporation, 20555 SH 249, Houston, Texas 77070-2698, and any notices required to be given to you shall be sent to your address as shown in the Company's records.
SEPARABILITY AND CONSTRUCTION: If any provision of this Agreement is determined to be invalid, unenforceable, or unlawful by an arbitrator or a court of competent jurisdiction, the other provisions of this Agreement shall remain in full force and effect, and the provisions that are determined to be invalid, unenforceable, or unlawful will either be limited so that they will remain in effect to the extent permissible by law or such arbitrator or court will substitute, to the extent enforceable, provisions similar thereto or other provision so as to provide, to the fullest extent allowed by law, the benefits intended by this Agreement.
WAIVER OF BREACH: No failure by any party to give notice of any breach of, or to require compliance with, any condition or provision of this Agreement shall be deemed a waiver or relinquishment or that party's rights, and no waiver or relinquishment of rights by any party at any one or more times will be deemed to be a waiver or relinquishment of such right or power at any other time or times.
ENTIRE AGREEMENT: This Agreement, together with the plan documents referred to herein, as amended from time to time, shall constitute the entire understanding relating to the severance benefits for which you are eligible upon your separation from employment with Compaq, and any previous severance agreements (or other agreements providing for severance benefits, to the extent that they provide for severance benefits), whether written or oral, between you and Compaq shall be deemed to be revoked and canceled for all purposes as of the date of this Agreement. There shall be no duplication between payments made pursuant to this Agreement and payments made under any other plan, program, arrangement, or agreement.
MODIFICATION IN WRITING: No addition to, or modification of, this Agreement shall be effective, unless it is in writing and signed by both you and an authorized representative of Compaq.
I hope that this Agreement provides you with the level of security and incentive that will allow you to continue as a leader at Compaq to the best of your abilities. Please sign below and return an executed original to indicate your acceptance of these terms.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
c: Yvonne R. Jackson
RELEASE OF CLAIMS
I acknowledge that I have had twenty-one days to decide whether to execute this Release of Claims ("Release") and that I have been advised in writing to consult an attorney before executing this Release. I acknowledge that I have seven days from the date I execute this Release to revoke my signature. I understand that if I choose to revoke this Release I must deliver my written revocation to Compaq before the end of the seven-day period.
I, FOR MYSELF, MY HEIRS, SUCCESSORS, AND ASSIGNS DO HEREBY SETTLE, WAIVE, AND RELEASE COMPAQ COMPUTER CORPORATION ("COMPAQ") AND ANY OF ITS PAST AND PRESENT OFFICERS, OWNERS, STOCKHOLDERS, PARTNERS, DIRECTORS, AGENTS, EMPLOYEES, SUCCESSORS, PREDECESSORS, ASSIGNS, REPRESENTATIVES, ATTORNEYS, DIVISIONS, SUBSIDIARIES, OR AFFILIATES FROM ANY AND ALL CLAIMS, CHARGES, COMPLAINTS, RIGHTS, DEMANDS, ACTIONS, AND CAUSES OF ACTION OF ANY KIND OR CHARACTER, IN CONTRACT, TORT, OR OTHERWISE, BASED ON ACTIONS OR OMISSIONS OCCURRING IN THE PAST AND/OR PRESENT, AND REGARDLESS OF WHETHER KNOWN OR UNKNOWN TO ME AT THIS TIME, INCLUDING THOSE NOT SPECIFICALLY MENTIONED IN THIS RELEASE. AMONG THE RIGHTS, CLAIMS, AND CAUSES OF ACTION WHICH I GIVE UP UNDER THIS RELEASE ARE THOSE ARISING IN CONNECTION WITH MY EMPLOYMENT AND THE TERMINATION OF MY EMPLOYMENT, INCLUDING RIGHTS OR CLAIMS UNDER FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL FAIR EMPLOYMENT PRACTICE OR DISCRIMINATION LAWS (INCLUDING THE VARIOUS CIVIL RIGHTS ACTS, THE AGE DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT ACT, THE EQUAL PAY ACT, AND THE TEXAS COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS ACT), LAWS PERTAINING TO BREACH OF EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT, WRONGFUL TERMINATION OR OTHER WRONGFUL TREATMENT, AND ANY OTHER LAWS OR RIGHTS RELATING TO MY EMPLOYMENT WITH COMPAQ AND THE TERMINATION OF THAT EMPLOYMENT. I ACKNOWLEDGE THAT I AM AWARE OF MY RIGHTS UNDER THE AGE DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT ACT, AND THAT I AM KNOWINGLY AND VOLUNTARILY WAIVING AND RELEASING ANY CLAIM OF AGE DISCRIMINATION WHICH I MAY HAVE UNDER THAT STATUTE AS PART OF THIS RELEASE. THIS AGREEMENT DOES NOT WAIVE OR RELEASE ANY RIGHTS, CLAIMS, OR CAUSES OF ACTION THAT MAY ARISE FROM ACTS OR OMISSIONS OCCURRING AFTER THE DATE I EXECUTE THIS RELEASE. I AGREE NOT TO BRING OR JOIN ANY LAWSUIT OR FILE ANY CLAIM AGAINST COMPAQ IN ANY COURT RELATING TO MY EMPLOYMENT OR THE TERMINATION OF MY EMPLOYMENT.