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  • Writer's pictureRobert Adelson

Stock Rights That Protect the Value of Your Executive Equity Compensation

Updated: Jan 16, 2023

On Thursday September 1, 2022, 2022, CEOWorld magazine published an article I wrote on “Stock Rights That Protect the Value of Your Executive Equity Compensation.”

This new article is designed for CEOs, C-level and senior executives, who have recently received a job offer or expect to receive a job offer and will be negotiating terms of executive compensation which will include executive equity.


In those negotiations, executive equity is often a very significant and often a major part of the executive compensation and a often a driver to accept a job offer. This is so because executive equity offers the prospect of greater financial upside value than from your fairly fixed and limited cash compensation. This special upside potential for executive equity arises from three different factors: (a) Appreciation – with your service the stock price or value might rise significantly, (b) Liquidity Event – a potential acquisition or an IPO might also significantly increase value, (c) Favorable Taxation – with appropriate structuring, appreciated equity on cash out may be taxed at a much lower rate than cash compensation for much greater take home pay.


Thus, given the high importance of equity in the CEO’s or C-level executive’s compensation package the focus of my article then moves to discuss these five (5) critical areas of stock rights and terms you want to be sure to give proper attention in your negotiations to give you the best chance to achieve the potential value from the equity you are granted:

  • Meaningful Level of Equity – to be sure that sufficient equity is granted so that if success is achieved, it will be impactful for you,

  • Tax Favorable Structure – negotiation over the form of your equity at the outset is quite important because in tax law – “form is substance” – different forms produce very different tax results and you want tax-favored equity if possible,

  • Severance Protection – if midway through the buildup you are forced out, you want your severance buy-out to embrace your equity as well as less important cash components of your comp package,

  • True Up Adjustment – especially if you are brought in to secure a financing raise, you don’t want to be a victim of your own success and seeking a level anti-dilution protection is a fair ask,

  • Cash-out protections – if after a number of years, no liquidity event is on the horizon, it is helpful to have a put option with the company to assure at some point you can tap into the value you achieved.



This was my 38th article published in CEOWORLD since 2016. Previously, the editor advised that I can use “Featured in the CEOWORLD magazine” and the CEOWORLD “Logo” on my website and add CEOWORLD magazine in my LinkedIn profile’s “Experience Section” as an “Opinion Columnist.” and authority in the field.


On its own initiative, CEOWORLD magazine created on their website a library of Robert Adelson published articles. You can peruse this library and/or read as many of my 38 published articles as you wish. See https://ceoworld.biz/author/robert-adelson/


With more than 12.4+ million-page views, CEOWORLD magazine is the world’s leading business magazine written strictly for CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, senior management executives, business leaders, and high net worth individuals worldwide. https://www.linkedin.com/company/ceomagazine/

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