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  • Writer's pictureRobert Adelson

Executive Contract Terms to Negotiate with Your Prospective Employer

Updated: Dec 29, 2021

Two weeks ago, on Tuesday June 22, 2021, the website Ivy Exec published under “Career Advice” an article I wrote on “Executive Contract Terms to Negotiate with Your Prospective Employer”.

This new article is designed for CEOs, C-level and senior executives, who are sometimes neglectful of their own interests and might be tempted to accept the assurance from a prospective employer that the job offer terms are just standard. But executive contract terms are not standard.

My article discusses critical contract terms that, as a senior executive, you should consider negotiable to assure you are receiving fair financial treatment and to provide important protections to your career path and reputation. I suggest negotiation strategies for key contract terms including:

  • Signing Bonus – to make you whole for what you are giving up from your job and also compensate you for the risks you are taking going into a new situation where you will have to prove yourself yet again,

  • Meaningful Equity – giving you a stake in the company sufficient in size and upside potential to justify the move.

  • Tax-favored Equity – with my structuring suggestions to maximize your take-home pay.

  • Restrictive covenants – NDAs limited to not bar you from future utilization of your prior knowledge and connections, Non-competes limited so no significant detour is created to the expected path for your future career growth,

  • Severance triggers – to allow you to quit for good reason if the company fails to live up to promises you relied on accepting the offer;

  • Robust severance terms – with not only severance pay but continuation of health benefits, prorated bonus and equity acceleration.

My article then concludes with a discussion of other non-contract factors that go into the decision to accept a job offer such as compatibility with company, fit of skills and personality, and your belief in company prospects.

But remember, even where you see a good fit going in, things can change: so, having a good contract is an important protection against your champion leaving or other unforeseen developments.

To see my full article, as published in the “Career Advice” section of the Ivy Exec website, go to LINK:

IvyExec hosts articles and webinars from experts in the career, leadership, and business spaces who wish to share their knowledge with our audience. In April 2021, I was invited to write for IvyExec since it seeks original content on the topics of career development, leadership, and business strategy as it applies to senior-level and C-Suite professionals. IvyExec blog posts and webinars are shared with its community of more than 2 million members on its website, in its newsletter, and on its social media channels.

It is my hope that this article will be of benefit to CEOs, C-level and senior executives who are contemplating a new job offer or employment contract and want to assure the key need financial terms and career protections are in place. This article suggests to you what is negotiable and that it may be wise to seek these items even when you feel confident the job is a good fit for you. Because sometimes, your champion may leave or other things might happen – so that, at that point, it might be comforting to you to know you have in writing critical contractual protections.

So, my hope is that this article will offer insights on these important matters. Feel free to tweet or share this article. If you or any colleague of yours has a need in this area, please do reach out to me.

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