2011 EQUITY INCENTIVE PLAN
SECTION 1. INTRODUCTION.
The newScale, Inc. 2011 Equity Incentive Plan became effective upon its adoption by the Company153s Board of Directors on the Effective Date, and must be approved by the shareholders of the Company, when required by applicable laws, within twelve (12) months following such date. If the Company153s shareholders do not approve this Plan, no Awards will be granted under this Plan.
The purpose of the Plan is to promote the long-term success of the Company and the creation of shareholder value by offering designated Employees and Consultants an opportunity to share in such long-term success by acquiring a proprietary interest in the Company. The Plan seeks to achieve this purpose by providing for discretionary long-term incentive awards in the form of Awards.
The Plan shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of California (except its choice-of-law provisions). Capitalized terms shall have the meaning provided in Section 2 unless otherwise provided in this Plan or any related Stock Option Agreement or Stock Unit Agreement.
SECTION 2. DEFINITIONS.
(a) "Affiliate" means any entity other than a Subsidiary, if the Company and/or one or more Subsidiaries own not less than 50% of such entity.
(b) "Award" means any award of an Option or Stock Unit under the Plan.
(c) "Board" means the Board of Directors of the Company, as constituted from time to time.
(d) "Cashless Exercise" means, to the extent that a Stock Option Agreement so provides and as permitted by applicable law, a program approved by the Committee in which payment may be made all or in part by delivery (on a form prescribed by the Committee) of an irrevocable direction to a securities broker to sell Shares and to deliver all or part of the sale proceeds to the Company in payment of the aggregate Exercise Price and, if applicable, the amount necessary to satisfy the Company153s withholding obligations at the minimum statutory withholding rates, including, but not limited to, U.S. federal and state income taxes, payroll taxes, and foreign taxes, if applicable.
(e) "Cause" means, except as may otherwise be provided in a Participant153s employment agreement or Award agreement, a conviction of a Participant for a felony crime or the failure of a Participant to contest prosecution for a felony crime, or a Participant153s misconduct, fraud or dishonesty (as such terms are defined by the Committee in its sole discretion), or any unauthorized use or disclosure of confidential information or trade secrets, in each case as determined by the Committee, and the Committee153s determination shall be conclusive and binding.
(f) "Change In Control" means, except as may otherwise be provided in a Participant153s employment agreement, Stock Option Agreement or Stock Unit Agreement, the occurrence of any of the following:
(i) A change in the composition of the Board over a period of thirty-six consecutive months or less such that a majority of the Board members ceases, by reason of one or more contested elections for Board membership, to be comprised of individuals who either (A) have been Board members continuously since the beginning of such period or (B) have been elected or nominated for election as Board members during such period by at least a majority of the Board
members described in clause (A) who were still in office at the time the Board approved such election or nomination; or
(ii) The acquisition, directly or indirectly, by any person or related group of persons (other than the Company or a person that directly or indirectly controls, is controlled by, or is under common control with, the Company) of beneficial ownership (within the meaning of Rule 13d-3 under the Exchange Act) of securities of the Company representing more than 35% of the total combined voting power of the Company153s then outstanding securities pursuant to a tender or exchange offer made directly to the Company153s shareholders which the Board does not recommend such shareholders accept.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, a transaction shall not constitute a Change in Control unless the transaction qualifies as a change in control event within the meaning of Code Section 409A, as it has been and may be amended from time to time, and any proposed or final Treasury Regulations and Internal Revenue Service guidance that has been promulgated or may be promulgated thereunder from time to time.
(g) "Code" means the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, and the regulations and interpretations promulgated thereunder.
(h) "Committee" means a committee described in Section 3.
(i) "Common Stock" means the Company153s common stock.
(j) "Company" means newScale, Inc., a California corporation.
(k) "Consultant" means an individual who performs bona fide services to the Company, a Parent, a Subsidiary or an Affiliate, other than as an Employee or Director or Non-Employee Director.
(l) "Corporate Transaction" means, except as may otherwise be provided in a Participant153s employment agreement or Award agreement, the occurrence of any of the following shareholder approved transactions:
(i) The consummation of a merger or consolidation of the Company with or into another entity or any other corporate reorganization, if more than 50% of the combined voting power of the continuing or surviving entity153s securities outstanding immediately after such merger, consolidation or other reorganization is owned by persons who were not shareholders of the Company immediately prior to such merger, consolidation or other reorganization; or
(ii) The sale, transfer or other disposition of all or substantially all of the Company153s assets.
A transaction shall not constitute a Corporate Transaction if its sole purpose is to change the state of the Company153s incorporation or to create a holding company that will be owned in substantially the same proportions by the persons who held the Company153s securities immediately before such transactions.
Further, a transaction shall not constitute a Corporate Transaction unless the transaction qualifies as a change in control event within the meaning of Code Section 409A, as it has been and may be amended from time to time, and any proposed or final Treasury Regulations and Internal Revenue Service guidance that has been promulgated or may be promulgated thereunder from time to time.
(m) "Director" means a member of the Board who is also an Employee.
(n) "Disability" means that the Participant is classified as disabled under a long-term disability policy of the Company or, if no such policy applies, the Participant is unable to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to
result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months.
(o) "Effective Date" means March 25, 2011, the date the Plan was adopted by the Company Board of Directors.
(p) "Employee" means any individual who is a common-law employee of the Company, a Parent, a Subsidiary or an Affiliate.
(q) "Exchange Act" means the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended.
(r) "Exercise Price" means, in the case of an Option, the amount for which a Share may be purchased upon exercise of such Option, as specified in the applicable Stock Option Agreement.
(s) "Fair Market Value" means the market price of a Share as determined in good faith by the Committee. The Fair Market Value shall be determined by the following:
(i) If the Shares were traded over-the-counter or listed with NASDAQ on the date in question, then the Fair Market Value shall be equal to the last transaction price quoted by the NASDAQ system for the date in question; or
(ii) if the Common Stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange or the American Stock Exchange on the date in question, the Fair Market Value is the closing selling price for the Common Stock as such price is officially quoted in the composite tape of transactions on the exchange determined by the Committee to be the primary market for the Common Stock for the date in question; provided, however, that if there is no such reported price for the Common Stock for the date in question under (i) or (ii), then if available such price on the last preceding date for which such price exists shall be determinative of Fair Market Value.
If neither (i) or (ii) are applicable, then the Fair Market Value shall be determined by the Committee in good faith on such basis as it deems appropriate.
Whenever possible, the determination of Fair Market Value by the Committee shall be based on the prices reported in the Western Edition of The Wall Street Journal. Such determination shall be conclusive and binding on all persons.
(t) "Fiscal Year" means the Company153s fiscal year.
(u) "Grant" means any grant of an Award under the Plan.
(v) "Incentive Stock Option" or "ISO" means an incentive stock option described in Code 422.
(w) "Non-Employee Director" means a member of the Board who is not an Employee.
(x) "Nonstatuatory Stock Option" or "NSO" means a stock option that is not an ISO.
(y) "Option" means a stock option granted under the Plan entitling the Optionee to purchase Shares.
(z) "Optionee" means an individual, estate or other entity that holds an Option.
(aa) "Parent" means any corporation (other than the Company) in an unbroken chain of corporations ending with the Company, if each of the corporations other than the Company owns stock possessing 50% or more of the total combined voting power of all classes of stock in one of the other corporations in such chain. A corporation that attains the status of a Parent on a date after the adoption of the Plan shall be considered a Parent commencing as of such date
(bb) "Participant" means an individual or estate or other entity that holds an Award.
(cc) "Plan" means this newScale, Inc. 2011 Equity Incentive Plan, as it may be amended from time to time.
(dd) "SEC" means the Securities and Exchange Commission.
(ee) "Securities Act" means the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.
(ff) "Service" means service as an Employee, Director, Non-Employee Director or Consultant. A Participant153s Service does not terminate when continued service crediting is required by applicable law. Service terminates in any event when an approved leave ends, unless such Employee immediately returns to active work. The Committee determines which leaves count toward Service, and when Service terminates for all purposes under the Plan. Further, unless otherwise determined by the Committee, a Participant153s Service shall not be deemed to have terminated merely because of a change in the capacity in which the Participant provides service to the Company, a Parent, Subsidiary or Affiliate, or a transfer between entities (the Company or any Parent, Subsidiary, or Affiliate); provided that there is no interruption or other termination of Service.
(gg) "Share" means one share of Common Stock, as adjusted pursuant to Sections 8 and 9, and any successor security.
(hh) "Specified Employee" means an Employee, Director, Non-Employee Director or Consultant who has been selected by the Committee to receive a Stock Unit under the Plan.
(ii) "Stock Option Agreement" means the agreement described in Section 6 evidencing each award of an Option.
(jj) "Stock Unit" means a bookkeeping entry representing the equivalent of one Share, as awarded under the Plan.
(kk) "Stock Unit Agreement" means the agreement described in Section 8 evidencing each Award of a Stock Unit.
(ll) "Subsidiary" means any corporation (other than the Company) in an unbroken chain of corporations beginning with the Company, if each of the corporations other than the last corporation in the unbroken chain owns stock possessing 50% or more of the total combined voting power of all classes of stock in one of the other corporations in such chain. A corporation that attains the status of a Subsidiary on a date after the adoption of the Plan shall be considered a Subsidiary commencing as of such date.
SECTION 3. ADMINISTRATION.
(a) General. The Board or a Committee appointed by the Board shall administer the Plan. Members of the Committee shall serve for such period of time as the Board may determine and shall be subject to removal by the Board at any time. The Board may also at any time terminate the functions of the Committee and reassume all powers and authority previously delegated to the Committee.
(b) Authority of the Committee. Subject to the provisions of the Plan, the Committee shall have full authority and sole discretion to take any actions it deems necessary or advisable for the administration of the Plan. Such actions shall include:
selecting Participants who are to receive Options under the Plan;
determining the type, number, vesting requirements and other features and conditions of such Options and amending such Options;
selecting Specified Employees who are to receive Stock Units under the Plan;
determining the type, number, vesting requirements and other features and conditions of such Stock Units and amending such Stock Units;
correcting any defect, supplying any omission, or reconciling any inconsistency in the Plan or any Award agreement;
accelerating the vesting, or extending the post-termination exercise term, of Awards at any time and under such terms and conditions as it deems appropriate;
interpreting the Plan;
making all other decisions relating to the operation of the Plan; and
adopting such plans or subplans as may be deemed necessary or appropriate to provide for the participation by Participants of the Company and its Subsidiaries and Affiliates who reside outside the U.S., which plans and/or subplans shall be attached hereto as Appendices.
The Committee may adopt such rules or guidelines as it deems appropriate to implement the Plan. The Committee153s determinations under the Plan shall be final and binding on all persons.
(c) Indemnification. To the maximum extent permitted by applicable law, each member of the Committee, or of the Board, shall be indemnified and held harmless by the Company against and from (i) any loss, cost, liability, or expense that may be imposed upon or reasonably incurred by him or her in connection with or resulting from any claim, action, suit, or proceeding to which he or she may be a party or in which he or she may be involved by reason of any action taken or failure to act under the Plan or any Stock Option Agreement or Stock Unit Agreement, and (ii) from any and all amounts paid by him or her in settlement thereof, with the Company153s approval, or paid by him or her in satisfaction of any judgment in any such claim, action, suit, or proceeding against him or her, provided he or she shall give the Company an opportunity, at its own expense, to handle and defend the same before he or she undertakes to handle and defend it on his or her own behalf. The foregoing right of indemnification shall not be exclusive of any other rights of indemnification to which such persons may be entitled under the Company153s Articles of Incorporation or Bylaws, by contract, as a matter of law, or otherwise, or under any power that the Company may have to indemnify them or hold them harmless.
SECTION 4. GENERAL.
(a) General Eligibility. Only Employees, Directors, Non-Employee Directors and Consultants shall be eligible to receive Options or Stock Units under the Plan.
(b) Stock Options. No person shall be eligible for the grant of an Option so long as Section 260.140.41(b) of Title 10 of the California Code of Regulations applies unless the requirements of such regulation are satisfied. No Option granted under the Plan is intended to qualify for the treatment afforded under Sections 421 and 422 of the Code.
(c) Restrictions on Shares. Any Shares issued pursuant to an Award shall be subject to such rights of repurchase, rights of first refusal and other transfer restrictions as the Committee may determine, in its sole discretion. Such restrictions shall apply in addition to any restrictions that may apply to holders of Shares generally and shall also comply to the extent necessary with applicable law. In no event shall the Company be required to issue fractional Shares under this Plan.
(d) Beneficiaries. Unless stated otherwise in an Award agreement, a Participant may designate one or more beneficiaries with respect to an Award by timely filing the prescribed form with the Company. A beneficiary designation may be changed by filing the prescribed form with the Company at any time before the Participant153s death. If no beneficiary was designated or if no designated beneficiary survives the Participant, then after a Participant153s death any vested Award(s) shall be transferred or distributed to the Participant153s estate.
(e) No Rights as a Shareholder. A Participant, or a transferee of a Participant, shall have no rights as a shareholder with respect to any Common Stock covered by an Award until such person has satisfied all of the terms and conditions to receive such Common Stock, has satisfied any applicable withholding or tax obligations relating to the Award and the Shares have been issued (as evidenced by an appropriate entry on the books of the Company or a duly authorized transfer agent of the Company).
(f) Termination of Service. Unless the applicable Award agreement or, with respect to Participants who reside in the U.S., the applicable employment agreement provides otherwise, the following rules shall govern the vesting, exercisability and term of outstanding Awards held by a Participant in the event of termination of such Participant153s Service (in all cases subject to the term of the Award): (i) upon termination of Service for any reason, all unvested portions of any outstanding Awards shall be immediately forfeited without consideration and the vested portions of any outstanding Stock Units shall be settled upon termination; (ii) if the Service of a Participant is terminated for Cause, then all unexercised Options, and unvested portions of Stock Units, shall terminate and be forfeited immediately without consideration; (iii) if the Service of Participant is terminated for any reason other than for Cause, death, or Disability, then the vested portion of his/her then-outstanding Options may be exercised by such Participant or his or her personal representative within three months after the date of such termination; or (iv) if the Service of a Participant is terminated due to death or Disability, the vested portion of his/her then-outstanding Options may be exercised within eighteen months after the date of termination of Service.
(g) Information Delivery. When required to comply with Section 260.140.41(h) of Title 10 of the California Code of Regulations, the security holders to whom such information is required to be provided shall be provided the information required by Section 260.140.46 of Title 10 of the California Code of Regulations not less frequently than annually.
SECTION 5. SHARES SUBJECT TO PLAN AND SHARE LIMITS.
(a) Basic Limitation. The stock issuable under the Plan shall be authorized but unissued Shares. The aggregate number of Shares reserved for Awards under the Plan shall not exceed 9,000,000 Shares, subject to adjustment pursuant to Section 9 and, when required, compliance with the shareholder approval requirements of Section 260.140.45 of Title 10 of the California Code of Regulations.
(b) Additional Shares. If Awards are forfeited or are terminated for any other reason before being exercised or settled, then the Shares underlying such Awards shall again become available for Awards under the Plan.
SECTION 6. TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF OPTIONS.
(a) Stock Option Agreement. Each grant of an Option under the Plan shall be evidenced and governed exclusively by a Stock Option Agreement between the Optionee and the Company. Such Option shall be subject to all applicable terms and conditions of the Plan and may be subject to any other terms and conditions that are not inconsistent with the Plan and that the Committee deems appropriate for inclusion in a Stock Option Agreement (including without limitation any performance conditions). The provisions of the various Stock Option Agreements entered into under the Plan need not be identical.
(b) Number of Shares. Each Stock Option Agreement shall specify the number of Shares that are subject to the Option and shall be subject to adjustment of such number in accordance with Section 9.
(c) Exercise Price. An Option153s Exercise Price shall be established by the Committee and set forth in a Stock Option Agreement.
(d) Exercisability and Term. Each Stock Option Agreement shall specify the date when all or any installment of the Option is to become exercisable. The Stock Option Agreement shall also specify the
term of the Option; provided that the term of an Option shall in no event exceed nine years from the date of grant. Unless the applicable Stock Option Agreement provides otherwise, each Option shall vest and become exercisable with respect to 25% of the Shares subject to the Option upon completion of one year of Service measured from the vesting commencement date, the balance of the Shares subject to the Option shall vest and become exercisable in thirty-six equal installments upon completion of each month of Service thereafter, and the term of the Option shall be nine years from the date of grant. A Stock Option Agreement may provide for accelerated vesting in the event of the Participant153s death, Disability, or other events. Notwithstanding any other provision of the Plan, no Option can be exercised after the expiration date provided in the applicable Stock Option Agreement and no Option may provide that, upon exercise of the Option, a new Option will automatically be granted.
(e) Modifications of Options. Within the limitations of the Plan, the Committee may modify outstanding Options provided that no modification of an Option shall, without the consent of the Optionee, impair his or her rights under such Option.
(f) Assignment or Transfer of Options. Except as otherwise provided in the applicable Stock Option Agreement and then only to the extent permitted by applicable law, no Option shall be transferable by the Optionee other than by will or by the laws of descent and distribution. Except as otherwise provided in the applicable Stock Option Agreement, an Option may be exercised during the lifetime of the Optionee only by the Optionee or by the guardian or legal representative of the Optionee. No Option or interest therein may be assigned, pledged or hypothecated by the Optionee during his or her lifetime, whether by operation of law or otherwise, or be made subject to execution, attachment or similar process.
SECTION 7. PAYMENT FOR OPTION SHARES.
The entire Exercise Price of Shares issued upon exercise of Options shall be payable in cash at the time when such Shares are purchased, except as follows and only if so provided for in an applicable Stock Option Agreement:
(i) Surrender of Stock. Payment for all or any part of the Exercise Price may be made with Shares which have already been owned by the Optionee; provided that the Committee may, in its sole discretion, require that Shares tendered for payment be previously held by the Optionee for a minimum duration. Such Shares shall be valued at their Fair Market Value.
(ii) Cashless Exercise. Payment for all or any part of the Exercise Price may be made through Cashless Exercise.
(iii) Other Forms of Payment. Payment for all or any part of the Exercise Price may be made in any other form that is consistent with applicable laws, regulations and rules and approved by the Committee.
The Stock Option Agreement may specify that payment may be made in any form(s) described in this Section 7.
SECTION 8. TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF STOCK UNITS.
(a) Stock Unit Agreement. Each grant of Stock Units under the Plan shall be evidenced and governed exclusively by a Stock Unit Agreement between the Specified Employee and the Company. Such Stock Units shall be subject to all applicable terms and conditions of the Plan and may be subject to any other terms and conditions that are not inconsistent with the Plan and that the Committee deems appropriate for inclusion in the applicable Stock Unit Agreement (including without limitation any performance conditions). The provisions of the various Stock Unit Agreements entered into under the Plan need not be
identical. Stock Units may be granted in consideration of a reduction in the Specified Employee153s other compensation.
(b) Number of Shares. Each Stock Unit Agreement shall specify the number of Shares to which the Stock Unit Grant pertains and shall be subject to adjustment of such number in accordance with Section 9.
(c) Payment for Stock Units. Stock Units shall be issued without consideration.
(d) Vesting Conditions. Unless the applicable Stock Unit Agreement provides otherwise, each Stock Unit shall vest with respect to 25% of the Shares subject to the Stock Unit upon completion of each year of Service on each of the first through fourth annual anniversaries of the vesting commencement date.
(e) Voting Rights. The holders of Stock Units shall have no voting rights.
(f) Form and Time of Settlement. Settlement of vested Stock Units may be made in the form of (i) cash, (ii) Shares or (iii) any combination of both, as determined by the Committee at the time of grant of the Stock Units, in its sole discretion. Methods of converting Stock Units into cash may include (without limitation) a method based on the average Fair Market Value of Shares over a series of trading days. Vested Stock Units may be settled in a lump sum or in installments, provided, however, that any settlement of Vested Stock Units in installments shall be exempt from or otherwise comply with the provisions regarding deferred compensation set forth in Section 409A of the Code. The distribution may occur or commence when the vesting conditions applicable to the Stock Units have been satisfied or have lapsed, in accordance with applicable law, to any later date. Until an Award of Stock Units is settled, the number of such Stock Units shall be subject to adjustment pursuant to Section 9.
(g) Creditors153 Rights. A holder of Stock Units shall have no rights other than those of a general creditor of the Company. Stock Units represent an unfunded and unsecured obligation of the Company, subject to the terms and conditions of the applicable Stock Unit Agreement.
(h) Modifications or Assumption of Stock Units. Within the limitations of the Plan, the Committee may modify or assume outstanding Stock Units or may accept the cancellation of outstanding Stock Units (including stock units granted by another issuer) in return for the grant of new Stock Units for the same or a different number of Shares and with the same or different vesting provisions. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence or anything to the contrary herein, no modification of a Stock Unit shall, without the consent of the Specified Employee, impair his or her rights or obligations under such Stock Unit.
(i) Assignment or Transfer of Stock Units. Except as otherwise provided in the applicable Stock Unit Agreement and then only to the extent permitted by applicable law, Stock Units shall not be anticipated, assigned, attached garnished, optioned, transferred or made subject to any creditor153s process, whether voluntarily, involuntarily or by operation of law. Any act in violation of this Section 8(i) shall be void. However, this Section 8(i) shall not preclude a Specified Employee from designating a beneficiary who will receive any outstanding vested Stock Units in the event of the Specified Employee153s death, nor shall it preclude a transfer of vested Stock Units by will or by the laws of descent and distribution.
SECTION 9. PROTECTION AGAINST DILUTION.
(a) Adjustments. In the event of a subdivision of the outstanding Shares, a declaration of a dividend payable in Shares, a declaration of a dividend payable in a form other than Shares in an amount that has a material effect on the price of Shares, a combination or consolidation of the outstanding Shares (by reclassification or otherwise) into a lesser number of Shares, a recapitalization, a spin-off or a similar occurrence, the Committee shall make appropriate adjustments to the following:
(i) the number of Shares and the kind of shares or securities available for future Awards under Section 5;
(ii) the number of Shares and the kind of shares or securities covered by each outstanding Award; or
(iii) the Exercise Price under each outstanding Option.
(b) Participant Rights. Except as provided in this Section 9, a Participant shall have no rights by reason of any issue by the Company of stock of any class or securities convertible into stock of any class, any subdivision or consolidation of shares of stock of any class, the payment of any stock dividend or any other increase or decrease in the number of shares of stock of any class. If by reason of an adjustment pursuant to this Section 9 a Participant153s Award covers additional or different shares of stock or securities, then such additional or different shares and the Award in respect thereof shall be subject to all of the terms, conditions and restrictions which were applicable to the Award and the Shares subject to the Award prior to such adjustment.
(c) Fractional Shares. Any adjustment of Shares pursuant to this Section 9 shall be rounded down to the nearest whole number of Shares. Under no circumstances shall the Company be required to authorize or issue fractional shares and no consideration shall be provided as a result of any fractional shares not being issued or authorized.
SECTION 10. EFFECT OF A CORPORATE TRANSACTION.
(a) Corporate Transaction. In the event that the Company is a party to a Corporate Transaction, outstanding Awards shall be subject to the applicable agreement of merger, reorganization, or sale of assets. Such agreement may provide, without limitation, for the assumption or substitution of outstanding Options or Stock Units by the surviving corporation or its parent, for the replacement of outstanding Options and Stock Units with a cash incentive program of the surviving corporation which preserves the spread existing on the unvested portions of such outstanding Awards at the time of the transaction and provides for subsequent payout in accordance with the same vesting provisions applicable to those Awards, or for the cancellation of outstanding Options and/or Stock Units, with or without consideration, in all cases without the consent of the Participant.
(b) Acceleration. The Committee may determine, at the time of grant of an Award or thereafter, that such Award shall become fully vested as to all Shares subject to such Award in the event that a Corporate Transaction or a Change in Control occurs. Unless otherwise provided in the applicable Award agreement, in the event that a Corporate Transaction occurs and any outstanding Options or Stock Units are not assumed, substituted, or replaced with a cash incentive program pursuant to Section 10(a), then such Options or Stock Units shall terminate and cease to be outstanding.
(c) Dissolution. To the extent not previously exercised or settled, Options or Stock Units shall terminate immediately prior to the dissolution or liquidation of the Company.
SECTION 11. LIMITATIONS ON RIGHTS.
(a) No Entitlements. A Participant153s rights, if any, in respect of or in connection with any Award is derived solely from the discretionary decision of the Company to permit the individual to participate in the Plan and to benefit from a discretionary Award. By accepting an Award under the Plan, a Participant expressly acknowledges that there is no obligation on the part of the Company to continue the Plan and/or grant any additional Awards. Any Award granted hereunder is not intended to be compensation of a continuing or recurring nature, or part of a Participant153s normal or expected compensation, and in no way represents any portion of a Participant153s salary, compensation, or other remuneration for purposes of pension benefits, severance, redundancy, resignation or any other purpose.
Neither the Plan nor any Award granted under the Plan shall be deemed to give any individual a right to remain an employee, consultant or director of the Company, a Parent, a Subsidiary or an Affiliate. The Company and its Parents and Subsidiaries and Affiliates reserve the right to terminate the Service of any person at any time, and for any reason, subject to applicable laws, the Company153s Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws and a written employment agreement (if any), and such terminated person shall be deemed irrevocably to have waived any claim to damages or specific performance for breach of contract or dismissal, compensation for loss of office, tort or otherwise with respect to the Plan or any outstanding Award that is forfeited and/or is terminated by its terms or to any future Award.
(b) Shareholders153 Rights. A Participant shall have no dividend rights, voting rights or other rights as a shareholder with respect to any Shares covered by his or her Award prior to the issuance of such Shares (as evidenced by an appropriate entry on the books of the Company or a duly authorized transfer agent of the Company). No adjustment shall be made for cash dividends or other rights for which the record date is prior to the date when such Shares are issued, except as expressly provided in Section 9.
(c) Regulatory Requirements. Any other provision of the Plan notwithstanding, the obligation of the Company to issue Shares or other securities under the Plan shall be subject to all applicable laws, rules and regulations and such approval by any regulatory body as may be required. The Company reserves the right to restrict, in whole or in part, the delivery of Shares or other securities pursuant to any Award prior to the satisfaction of all legal requirements relating to the issuance of such Shares or other securities, to their registration, qualification or listing or to an exemption from registration, qualification or listing.
SECTION 12. WITHHOLDING TAXES.
(a) General. A Participant shall make arrangements satisfactory to the Company for the satisfaction of any withholding tax obligations that arise in connection with his or her Award. The Company shall not be required to issue any Shares or make any cash payment under the Plan until such obligations are satisfied.
(b) Share Withholding. If a public market for the Company153s Shares exists, the Committee may permit a Participant to satisfy all or part of his or her withholding or income tax obligations by having the Company withhold all or a portion of any Shares that otherwise would be issued to him or her or by surrendering or attesting to all or a portion of any Shares that he or she previously acquired. Such Shares shall be valued based on the value of the actual trade or, if there is none, the Fair Market Value as of the previous day. Any payment of taxes by assigning Shares to the Company may be subject to restrictions, including, but not limited to, any restrictions required by rules of the SEC. The Committee may, in its discretion, also permit a Participant to satisfy withholding or income tax obligations related to an Award through Cashless Exercise or through a sale of Shares underlying the Award.
SECTION 13. DURATION AND AMENDMENTS.
(a) Term of the Plan. The Plan shall become effective upon its approval by Board, subject to the approval of the Company153s shareholders in compliance, when required, with Section 260.140.41(g) of Title 10 of the California Code of Regulations. The Plan shall terminate on the ninth anniversary of the date of approval by the Company153s shareholders and may be terminated on any earlier date pursuant to this Section 13.
(b) Right to Amend or Terminate the Plan. The Board may amend or terminate the Plan at any time and for any reason. The termination of the Plan, or any amendment thereof, shall not impair the rights or obligations of any Participant under any Award previously granted under the Plan without the Participant153s consent. No Awards shall be granted under the Plan after the Plan153s termination. An amendment of the Plan shall be subject to the approval of the Company153s shareholders only to the extent such approval is otherwise required by applicable laws, regulations or rules.