Here’s Yahoo’s Official Parting With Thompson Over ResuMess — No Severance, But Make-Whole Millions
As I reported earlier today, former Yahoo Scott Thompson left the Silicon Valley Internet giant with no severance.
The reason for the agreement was that the company was claiming “cause” for the parting, due to a fake computer science degree on his resume, as well as other issues that were raised from the controversy.
Yahoo said in filing today:
“Yahoo! and Mr. Thompson agreed to terminate all other agreements between them, including Mr. Thompson’s offer letter, all outstanding but not fully vested equity awards and Yahoo!’s other plans and arrangements for the benefit of employees, with no severance compensation.”
The former president of eBay’s PayPal payments unit will get “Make-Whole” cash bonus and already vested restricted stock units related to him leaving that job in January to become the CEO of Yahoo.
That totals about $7 million.
Here is the pertinent part of its just-filed document:
Item 5.02. Departure of Directors or Certain Officers; Election of Directors; Appointment of Certain Officers; Compensatory Arrangements of Certain Officers.
(a) Resignation of Chief Executive Officer
Effective May 12, 2012, Scott Thompson resigned as Yahoo!’s Chief Executive Officer and President, as a member of the Board, and from all other positions with Yahoo!. Yahoo! entered into a separation agreement, dated May 12, 2012 (the “Separation Agreement”), with Mr. Thompson to memorialize the parties’ mutual desire to separate employment. The Separation Agreement provides, among other things:
• Mr. Thompson resigned from his position as Yahoo!’s Chief Executive Officer and all other positions he had with Yahoo!’s subsidiaries and affiliates, including as a director of Yahoo!.
• Yahoo! and Mr. Thompson agreed to terminate all other agreements between them, including Mr. Thompson’s offer letter, all outstanding but not fully vested equity awards and Yahoo!’s other plans and arrangements for the benefit of employees, with no severance compensation. However, in accordance with the terms of his offer letter, Mr. Thompson retained the make-whole cash bonus previously paid to him under his offer letter and the make-whole restricted stock units that had been granted to him pursuant to his offer letter and that had already vested.
• The parties reiterated their obligations with regard to disparagement under Mr. Thompson’s offer letter, providing that Mr. Thompson not knowingly disparage Yahoo! or its officers, directors, employees or agents in any manner likely to be harmful to their respective business, business reputation or personal reputation, and that Yahoo! instruct its Chairman, certain employees and executive officers not to knowingly disparage Mr. Thompson in any manner likely to be harmful to his business, business reputation or personal reputation other than in the good-faith performance of their duties to Yahoo! or in connection with their fiduciary duties to Yahoo! and applicable law.
• Yahoo! and Mr. Thompson agreed to a mutual release of claims related to Mr. Thompson’s employment and other relationships with, and the termination of Mr. Thompson’s employment and other relationships with, Yahoo! and Yahoo!’s affiliates, provided, that such release by Yahoo! does not apply to any liability arising out of any intentional and wrongful act by Mr. Thompson.
• Certain of Mr. Thompson’s obligations, such as those in relation to intellectual property and confidentiality, remained in effect.
The foregoing summary of the Separation Agreement does not purport to be complete and is subject to, and qualified in its entirety by, the full text of the Separation Agreement, which is attached as Exhibit 99.02 and incorporated herein by reference.
And here is the full separation agreement:
This Separation Agreement (this “Agreement”) memorializes the parties’ mutual desire to separate, leading to the termination of employment with Yahoo! Inc. (“Yahoo!” or the “Company”).
1. Separation. Your last day of work with the Company and your employment termination date was May 12, 2012 (the “Separation Date”). To the extent you have not previously done so as of the Separation Date, you hereby resign from your position as the Chief Executive Officer of the Company and from any and all offices you have with the Company’s subsidiaries and/or affiliates, including the Company’s Board of Directors or any fiduciary or other committee with respect to any benefit plan of the Company or any of the Company’s subsidiaries and/or affiliates. You shall execute such additional documents as requested by the Company to evidence the foregoing. After the Separation Date, you shall not represent yourself as being an officer, director or employee of the Company or a fiduciary of any such benefit plan for any purpose.
2. Accrued Amounts. Yahoo! will pay you all Accrued Amounts (as defined below), subject to payroll deductions and required withholdings. You are entitled to these payments regardless of whether or not you sign this Agreement. Accrued Amounts means any accrued but unpaid base salary through date of termination paid in accordance with normal payroll practices, unreimbursed business expenses incurred prior to the date of termination paid in accordance with Company policies, and accrued but unused vacation time through the date of termination due in accordance with Company plans and policies. With respect to reimbursement for business expenses incurred prior to termination of your employment, you agree that, within thirty (30) days following the Separation Date, you will submit your final expense reimbursement statement and required documentation reflecting all business expenses you incurred through the Separation Date, if any, for which you seek reimbursement. For a copy of the Yahoo! expense form, please email email@example.com. You should submit completed expense reports and receipts to the Expense Report Department at Yahoo!, 701 First Avenue, Sunnyvale, California 94089.
3. Consideration for this Agreement. Except as provided in Section 9 below, you and Yahoo! mutually agree to terminate any and all other contracts or agreements, including but not limited to the Offer Letter, and rights under all pension, welfare, equity and fringe plans, programs, awards, arrangements, and payroll practices; provided, however, that nothing in the Agreement requires you to repay or return to Yahoo! the Make-Whole Cash Bonus previously paid to you and the Make-Whole Restricted Stock Units that already have vested. Therefore, except as provided in this Agreement, this Separation Agreement supersedes and supplants any and all rights, claims, benefits and defenses you or the Company would otherwise enjoy or be entitled to assert pursuant to your Offer Letter or any other document previously executed relating to your employment with the Company.
4. Tax Matters.
a. Withholding. Yahoo! will withhold required federal, state and local taxes from any and all payments of the Accrued Amounts and make all tax reporting it determines it should make based on this Agreement.
b. Responsibility for Taxes. Other than Yahoo!’s obligation and right to withhold federal, state and local taxes and to pay the employer portion of FICA and FUTA, you will be responsible for any and all taxes, interest, and penalties that may be imposed with respect to the payments previously made or contemplated by this Agreement (including, but not limited to, those imposed under Internal Revenue
Code Section 409A).
5. Health Care Coverage. Nothing in this Agreement affects your right to timely elect and purchase at your own expense healthcare coverage under COBRA as provided by law.
6. Invention and Assignment to Yahoo!. You agree to perform promptly, all acts deemed necessary or desirable by Yahoo! to permit and assist it, at its expense, in obtaining and enforcing the full benefits, enjoyment, rights and title throughout the world in all intellectual property assigned to Yahoo! pursuant to your Employee Confidentiality and Assignment of Inventions Agreement(s) or similar agreement(s) including, but not limited to, disclosing information, executing documents and providing reasonable assistance or cooperation in legal proceedings.
7. Return of Company Property. Promptly after the Separation Date, you agree to return to Yahoo! all hard copy and electronic documents (and all copies thereof) and other property belonging to Yahoo!, its subsidiaries and/or affiliates that you have had in your possession at any time, including, but not limited to, files, notes, notebooks, correspondence, memoranda, agreements, drawings, records, business plans, forecasts, financial information, specifications, computer-recorded information, tangible property (including, but not limited to, computers, PDAs, pagers, telephones, credit cards, entry cards, identification badges and keys), and any materials of any kind that contain or embody any proprietary or confidential information of the Company, its subsidiaries or affiliates (and all reproductions thereof in whole or in part). If you discover after the Separation Date that you have retained any proprietary or confidential information (including, but not limited to, proprietary or confidential information contained in any electronic documents or e-mail systems in your possession or control), you agree immediately upon discovery to send an email to IPQuestionsSeparations@yahoo-inc.com and inform Yahoo! of the nature and location of the proprietary or confidential information that you have retained so that Yahoo! may arrange to remove, recover, and/or collect such information.
8. Ongoing Obligations.
a. Intellectual Property and Proprietary Information. You acknowledge your continuing obligations under your Employee Confidentiality and Assignment of Inventions Agreement(s), the Offer Letter or any other agreement(s) signed thereafter containing restrictive covenants (collectively “NDAs”), including your obligation not to use or disclose any confidential or proprietary information of the Company, its subsidiaries or affiliated entities, not to solicit Yahoo! employees and, to the extent permitted by applicable law, not to solicit customers and not to compete with the Company, its subsidiaries or affiliated entities while you are employed, as specified in your NDAs. If you would like a copy of your signed NDAs, please contact David Windley at (408) 349-8449.
b. Nondisparagement. You agree, for five years after your employment with the Company terminates, not to knowingly disparage the Company or its officers, directors, employees or agents in any manner likely to be harmful to it or them or its or their business, business reputation or personal reputation. The foregoing shall not be violated by statements that are truthful, complete and made in good faith in required responses to legal process or governmental inquiry. You agree that any breach of this nondisparagement provision shall be a material breach of this Agreement. The Company will instruct its Chairman, the chief Yahoos, and the named executive officers of the Company, other than in the good-faith performance of their duties to the Company or in connection with their fiduciary duties to the Company and applicable law, for a period of five years following your employment has terminated, not to knowingly disparage you in any manner likely to be harmful to you or your business reputation or personal reputation. The foregoing shall not be violated by statements which are truthful, complete, and made in good faith in required response to legal process or governmental inquiry.
9. Release of Claims. In consideration for, and as a condition of the payments and benefits provided to you pursuant to this Agreement, you hereby generally and completely release the Company and its directors, officers, employees, shareholders, partners, agents, attorneys, predecessors, successors, parent and subsidiary entities, insurers, affiliates, and assigns (collectively “Released Party”) from any and all claims, liabilities and obligations, both known and unknown, that arise out of or are in any way related to events, acts, conduct, or omissions occurring at any time prior to and including the date you sign this Agreement and which arise out of or are in any way related to your employment or other relationship, or termination of such employment or other relationship, with the Company or any of the Company’s subsidiaries and/or affiliates, including but not limited to: (1) all claims related to your compensation or benefits from the Company, including wages, salary, bonuses, commissions, vacation pay, expense reimbursements (to the extent permitted by applicable law), severance pay, fringe benefits, stock, stock options, or any other ownership interests in the Company; (2) all claims for breach of contract, wrongful termination, and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing; (3) all tort claims, including without limitation claims for fraud, defamation, emotional distress, and discharge in violation of public policy; and (4) all federal, state, and local statutory claims, including without limitation claims for discrimination, harassment, retaliation, attorneys’ fees, or other claims arising under the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 (as amended), the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (as amended) (“ADEA”), the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (as amended) and similar laws in other jurisdictions, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (as amended), the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (as amended) and similar laws in other jurisdictions; provided, however, that nothing herein shall (i) release the Company from any claims arising from or by reason of any breach by the Company of this Agreement; or (ii) interfere with your rights, if any, to indemnification or director’s and officer’s liability insurance coverage provided to you by any agreement with the Company or any provision or any By-Law of the Company or application of law. To the maximum extent permitted by law, you also promise never directly or indirectly to bring or participate in an action against any Released Party under California Business & Professions Code Section 17200 or under any other unfair competition law of any jurisdiction. If, notwithstanding the above, you are awarded any money or other relief under such a claim, you hereby assign the money or other relief to the Company. Your waiver and release specified in this paragraph do not apply to any rights or claims that may arise after the date you sign this Agreement.
This Agreement includes a release of claims of discrimination or retaliation on the basis of workers’ compensation status, but does not include workers’ compensation claims. Excluded from this Agreement are any claims which by law cannot be waived in a private agreement between employer and employee. You have the right to file a charge with or participate in an investigation conducted by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) or any state or local fair employment practices agency, however, you waive any right to any monetary recovery or other relief should the EEOC or any other agency pursue a claim on your behalf. The Company releases you from all claims to the same extent that you release it, and nothing in this Agreement shall be deemed to apply to any liability arising out of any intentional and wrongful act by you.
a. You acknowledge and agree that you have not been denied any rights including, but not limited to, rights to a leave or reinstatement from a leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994, or any similar law of any jurisdiction. You represent that your age was not the basis for any Company decision or action affecting you, and acknowledge that the Company relied on that representation in entering into this Agreement.
b. You acknowledge and agree that the benefits provided under this Agreement are in full discharge of any and all liabilities and obligations of the Company and/or any of the Company’s subsidiaries and/or affiliates to you, monetarily or otherwise, including but not limited to any and all obligations arising under the Offer Letter and any other alleged written or oral employment or consulting agreement, policy, plan or procedure of the Company and/or any alleged understanding or arrangement between you and the Company and/or any of the Company’s subsidiaries and/or affiliates.
c. You acknowledge and agree that by virtue of the foregoing Release, you have waived any relief available to you (including without limitation, monetary damages, equitable relief and reinstatement) under any of the claims and/or causes of action waived in this Agreement. Therefore, you agree that you will not accept any award or settlement from any source or proceeding (including but not limited to any proceeding brought by any other person or by any government agency) with respect to any claim or right waived in this Agreement.
11. Release of Unknown Claims. You and the Company acknowledge having read and understanding Section 1542 of the California Civil Code: “A general release does not extend to claims which the creditor does not know or suspect to exist in his or her favor at the time of executing the release, which if known by him or her must have materially affected his or her settlement with the debtor.” You and the Company hereby expressly waive and relinquish all rights and benefits under that section and any law of any jurisdiction of similar effect with respect to the release of any unknown or unsuspected claims.
12. Miscellaneous. This Agreement constitutes the complete, final and exclusive embodiment of the entire agreement between you and the Company with regard to this subject matter. It is entered into without reliance on any promise or representation, written or oral, other than those expressly contained herein, and it supersedes any other such promises, warranties or representations. This Agreement may not be modified or amended except in a writing signed by both you and a duly authorized officer of Yahoo!. This Agreement will bind the heirs, personal representatives, successors and assigns of both you and the Company, and inure to the benefit of both you and the Company, their heirs, successors and assigns. If any provision of this Agreement is determined to be invalid or unenforceable, in whole or in part, this determination will not affect any other provision of this Agreement and the provision in question will be modified by the court so as to be rendered enforceable. This Agreement will be deemed to have been entered into and will be construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of California without regard to the principles of conflicts of law.
13. No Admission; Rules of Construction.
a. This Agreement is not intended, and shall not be construed, as an admission that any Released Party has violated any federal, state or local law (statutory or decisional), ordinance or regulation, breached any contract or committed any wrong whatsoever against you.
b. Should any provision of this Agreement require interpretation or construction, it is agreed by the parties that the entity interpreting or construing this Agreement shall not apply a presumption against one party by reason of the rule of construction that a document is to be construed more strictly against the party who prepared the document.
14. Counterparts: This Agreement may be signed in counterparts, each of which shall be an original with the same effect as if the signatures thereto and hereto were upon the same instrument. Delivery of copies of an executed document shall be deemed a valid delivery of an executed Agreement.
If this Agreement is acceptable to you, please sign below on or after the Separation Date and return the original to David Windley at 701 First Avenue, Sunnyvale, California 94089.
I wish you good luck in your future endeavors.
YAHOO ! INC .
By: /s/ Michael J. Callahan
Michael J. Callahan
Executive Vice President, General Counsel and
AGREED AND VOLUNTARILY EXECUTED:
/s/ Scott Thompson
cc: Personnel File
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