Executive Employment Agreement, effective as of January 1, 2019, by and between the Registrant and Brendan Eckelman, Ph.D
EXECUTIVE EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT
This Executive Employment Agreement (this Agreement) is effective as of January 1, 2019 (the Effective Date) by and between Inhibrx, Inc., a Delaware corporation (the Company), and Brendan Eckelman (Executive).
1. Roles and Duties.
(a) Chief Scientific Officer Role. Subject to the terms and conditions of this Agreement, the Company shall employ Executive as its Chief Scientific Officer reporting to the Companys Chief Executive Officer (the CEO). The Executive shall have such duties and responsibilities as are reasonably determined by the Board of Directors (the Board) and are consistent with the duties customarily performed by a chief scientific officer of a similarly situated company in the United States. Executive accepts such employment upon the terms and conditions set forth herein, and agrees to perform such duties and discharge such responsibilities to the best of Executives ability. During Executives employment, Executive shall devote all of Executives business time and energies to the business and affairs of the Company. Notwithstanding the foregoing, nothing herein shall preclude Executive from (i) performing services for such other companies as the Company may designate or permit; (ii) serving, with the prior written consent of the Board, which consent shall not be unreasonably withheld, as a member of the boards of directors or advisory boards (or their equivalents in the case of a non-corporate entity) of non-competing businesses or charitable, educational or civic organizations; (iii) engaging in charitable activities and community affairs; and (iv) managing Executives personal investments and affairs; provided, however, that the activities set out in clauses (i), (ii), (iii) and (iv) shall be limited by Executive so as not to materially interfere, individually or in the aggregate, with the performance of Executives duties and responsibilities hereunder.
(b) Board Membership. Executive shall serve as a member of the Board during Executives employment hereunder until the term of his directorship expires and he is not re-elected or his earlier resignation or removal from the Board. During the Term (as defined below), the Company or the applicable Board committee will recommend to the Board for nomination, and the Board shall nominate the Executive for reelection to the Board. Executives service as a Board member shall be without further compensation. Executive shall resign from the Board effective immediately upon the termination of Executives employment with the Company for any reason, and in the absence of any other written resignation proffered to the Board, this agreement, upon such termination, shall constitute such a written resignation.
2. Term of Employment.
(a) Term. Subject to the terms hereof, Executives employment hereunder shall continue until terminated hereunder by either party (such term of employment referred to herein as the Term).
(b) Termination. Notwithstanding anything else contained in this Agreement, Executives employment hereunder shall terminate upon the earliest to occur of the following:
(i) Death. Immediately upon Executives death;
(ii) Termination by the Company.
(A) If because of Executives Disability (as defined below in Section 2(c)), written notice by the Company to Executive that Executives employment is being terminated as a result of Executives Disability, which termination shall be effective on the date of such notice or such later date as specified in writing by the Company;
(B) If for Cause (as defined below in Section 2(d)), written notice by the Company to Executive that Executives employment is being terminated for Cause, which termination shall be effective on the date of such notice or such later date as specified in writing by the Company, provided that if prior to the effective date of such termination Executive has cured the circumstances giving rise to the Cause (if capable of being cured as provided in Section 2(d)), then such termination shall not be effective; or
(C) If by the Company for reasons other than under Sections 2(b)(ii)(A) or (B), written notice by the Company to Executive that Executives employment is being terminated, which termination shall be effective thirty (30) days after the date of such notice.
(iii) Termination by Executive.
(A) If for Good Reason (as defined below in Section 2(e)), written notice by Executive to the Company that Executive is terminating Executives employment for Good Reason and that sets forth the factual basis supporting the alleged Good Reason, which termination shall be effective thirty (30) days after the date of such notice; provided that if prior to the effective date of such termination the Company has cured the circumstances giving rise to the Good Reason if capable of being cured as provided in Section 2(e), then such termination shall not be effective; or
(B) If without Good Reason, written notice by Executive to the Company that Executive is terminating Executives employment, which termination shall be effective no fewer than sixty (60) days after the date of such notice unless waived, in whole or in part, by the Company.
Notwithstanding anything in this Section 2(b), the Company may at any point, under the conditions set forth in Section 2(b)(ii)(B), terminate Executives employment for Cause prior to the effective date of any other termination contemplated hereunder; provided that if prior to the effective date of such for-Cause termination Executive has cured the circumstances giving rise to the Cause (if capable of being cured as provided in Section 2(d)), then such termination shall not be effective.
(c) Definition of Disability. For purposes of this Agreement, Disability shall mean Executives incapacity or inability to perform Executives duties and responsibilities as contemplated herein by reason of a medically determinable mental or physical impairment for one hundred twenty (120) days or more within any one (1) year period (cumulative or consecutive), which impairment can reasonably be expected to result in death or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than six (6) months. The determination that Executive is disabled hereunder, if disputed by the parties, shall be resolved by a physician reasonably satisfactory to Executive and the Company, at the Companys expense, and the determination of such physician shall be final and binding upon both Executive and the Company. Executive hereby consents to such examination and consultation by a physician. The Company will keep all information it receives as a result of such inquiry and determination confidential and will not use it for any purpose other than in connection with exercising its rights under this Agreement.
(d) Definition of Cause. As used herein, Cause shall mean: (i) Executives conviction of (A) a felony or (B) any misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, deceit, dishonesty or fraud; (ii) Executives willful failure or refusal to comply with lawful directions of Executives supervisor, which failure or refusal continues for more than five (5) business days after written notice is given to Executive, which notice sets forth in reasonable detail the nature of such failure or refusal; (iii) willful and material breach by Executive of a material written Company policy or under this Agreement, provided Executive does not cure such breach witihin five (5) business days after receiving written notice of the alleged breach; or (iv) misconduct by Executive that materially damages the Company or any of its affiliates. Except in the case of (ii) above, it is not necessary that the Companys finding of Cause occur prior to Executives termination of service.
(e) Definition of Good Reason. As used herein, Good Reason shall mean: (i) relocation of Executives principal business location to a location more than thirty (30) miles from Executives then-current business location; (ii) a material diminution in Executives duties, authority or responsibilities; (iii) a material reduction in Executives Base Salary; or (iv) willful and material breach by the Company of its covenants and/or obligations under this Agreement; provided that, in each of the foregoing clauses (i) through (iv) (A) Executive provides the Company with written notice that Executive intends to terminate Executives employment hereunder for one of the grounds set forth in this Section 2(e) within thirty (30) days of such ground occurring, (B) if such ground is capable of being cured, the Company has failed to cure such ground within a period of thirty (30) days from the date of such written notice, and (C) Executive terminates by written notice Executives employment within sixty-five
(65) days from the date that Executive provides the notice contemplated by clause (A) of this Section 2(e). For purposes of clarification, the above-listed conditions shall apply separately to each occurrence of Good Reason, and failure to adhere to such conditions in the event of Good Reason shall not disqualify Executive from asserting Good Reason for any subsequent occurrence of Good Reason. For purposes of this Agreement, Good Reason shall be interpreted in a manner, and limited to the extent necessary, so that it shall not cause adverse tax consequences for either party with respect to Section 409A (Section 409A) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the Code) and any successor statute, regulation and guidance thereto.
(a) Base Salary. The Company shall pay Executive a base salary (the Base Salary) at the annual rate of Three Hundred Fifty Thousand Dollars ($350,000.00). The Base Salary shall be payable in substantially equal periodic installments in accordance with the Companys payroll practices as in effect from time to time. The Company shall deduct from each such installment all amounts required to be deducted or withheld under applicable law or under any employee benefit plan in which Executive participates. The Board or an appropriate committee thereof shall, on an annual basis, review the Base Salary, which may be adjusted upward (but not downward) at the Companys discretion. Beginning in 2020, and each year thereafter, the Board or an appropriate committee thereof will evaluate an increase in Executives Base Salary based on considerations including but not limited to merit, cost of living, and competitive benchmarking. The amount of such salary increase, if any, will be determined by the Board in its discretion.
(b) Annual Performance Bonus. Executive shall be eligible to receive an annual cash bonus (the Annual Performance Bonus), with the target amount of such Annual Performance Bonus equal to forty percent (40%) of Executives Base Salary (the Target Performance Bonus) in the year to which the Annual Performance Bonus relates; provided that the actual amount of the Annual Performance Bonus may be greater or less than the Target Performance Bonus. The Annual Performance Bonus shall be based on performance and achievement of Company goals and objectives as defined by the Board or Compensation Committee. The amount of the Annual Performance Bonus shall be determined by the Board or Compensation Committee in its sole discretion, and shall be paid to Executive no later than March 15th of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which it was earned. Except as provided in Section 4, Executive must be employed by the Company on the date that the Annual Performance Bonus is paid to Executive in order to be eligible for, and to be deemed as having earned, such Annual Performance Bonus. The Company shall deduct from the Annual Performance Bonus all amounts required to be deducted or withheld under applicable law or under any employee benefit plan in which Executive participates.
(c) Equity. In addition to the equity awards currently outstanding, beginning in 2020, Executive will be eligible to be considered for the grant of stock options and/or other equity-based awards commensurate with Executives position and responsibilities. The amount, terms and conditions of any stock option or other equity-based award will be determined by the Board or an appropriate committee thereof in its discretion and set forth in the applicable equity plan and other documents governing the award.
(d) Paid Time Off. Executive is permitted unlimited discretionary paid time off for vacation and personal leave, (i) provided that this does not negatively impact Executives duties to Company (contemplated in Section 1 of this Agreement) in a material manner, (ii) subject to limitations for short and long-term disability, and (iii) to the extent such benefit continues to be extended to other executives of the Company. Executive shall not accrue any paid time off and no such paid time off shall be paid/owed to Executive at the time of terminationregardless of the circumstances of Executives termination of employment.
(e) Fringe Benefits. Executive shall be entitled to participate in all benefit/welfare plans and fringe benefits provided to Company senior executives. Executive understands that, except when prohibited by applicable law, the Companys benefit plans and fringe benefits may be amended by the Company from time to time in its sole discretion. The terms of any such benefits shall be governed by the applicable plan documents and Company policies in effect from time to time (and, to the extent this Agreement conflicts with such terms, the terms of such benefit plans shall govern).
(f) Reimbursement of Expenses. The Company shall reimburse Executive for all ordinary and reasonable out-of-pocket business expenses incurred by Executive in furtherance of the Companys business in
accordance with the Companys policies with respect thereto as in effect from time to time. Executive must submit any request for reimbursement no later than ninety (90) days following the date that such business expense is incurred. All reimbursements provided under this Agreement shall be made or provided in accordance with the requirements of Section 409A including, where applicable, the requirement that (i) any reimbursement is for expenses incurred during Executives lifetime (or during a shorter period of time specified in this Agreement); (ii) the amount of expenses eligible for reimbursement during a calendar year may not affect the expenses eligible for reimbursement in any other calendar year; (iii) the reimbursement of an eligible expense shall be made no later than the last day of the calendar year following the year in which the expense is incurred; and (iv) the right to reimbursement or in-kind benefits is not subject to liquidation or exchange for another benefit.
(g) Indemnification. Executive shall be entitled to indemnification with respect to Executives services provided hereunder pursuant to Delaware law, the terms and conditions of the Companys certificate of incorporation and/or by-laws, and the Companys standard indemnification agreement for directors and officers as executed by the Company and Executive. The Executive shall be entitled to coverage under the Companys Directors and Officers (D&O) insurance policies that it may hold now or in the future to the same extent and in the same manner (i.e., subject to the same terms and conditions) to which the Companys other executive officers are entitled to coverage under any of the Companys D&O insurance policies.
(h) Forfeiture/Clawback. All compensation shall be subject to any forfeiture or clawback policy established by the Company generally for senior executives from time to time and any other such policy required by applicable law.
4. Payments Upon Termination.
(a) Definition of Accrued Obligations. For purposes of this Agreement, Accrued Obligations means: (i) the portion of Executives Base Salary that has accrued prior to any termination of Executives employment with Company and has not yet been paid; and (ii) the amount of any expenses properly incurred by Executive on behalf of the Company prior to any such termination and not yet reimbursed. Executives entitlement to any other compensation or benefit under any Company plan shall be governed by and determined in accordance with the terms of such plans, except as otherwise specified in this Agreement.
(b) Termination by the Company for Cause. If Executives employment hereunder is terminated by the Company for Cause, then the Company shall pay the Accrued Obligations to Executive within the time provided by law for terminated employees and the Company shall have no further obligations to Executive under this Agreement.
(c) Termination by Executive Without Good Reason. If Executives employment hereunder is terminated by Executive without Good Reason, then the Company shall pay the Accrued Obligations and any accrued and unpaid Annual Performance Bonus for the prior fiscal year to Executive within the time provided by law and the Company shall have no further obligations to Executive under this Agreement.
(d) Termination as a Result of Executives Disability or Death. If Executives employment hereunder terminates as a result of Executives Disability or death, the Company shall pay to Executive within the time provided by law (i) the Accrued Obligations; (ii) any accrued and unpaid Annual Performance Bonus for the prior fiscal year; and (iii) the Pro Rated Bonus (as defined below) and, shall have no further obligations with respect to any benefit or compensation under this Agreement to Executive hereunder. As used in this Section 4, Pro Rated Bonus shall mean an amount in cash equal to the Target Performance Bonus for which Executive would have been eligible with respect to the year in which termination of Executives employment occurs multiplied by a fraction, the numerator of which is the number of days during which Executive is employed by the Company during the year of termination and the denominator of which is 365.
(e) Termination by the Company Without Cause or by Executive For Good Reason. In the event that Executives employment is terminated by action of the Company without Cause, or Executive terminates Executives employment for Good Reason, then, in addition to the Accrued Obligations and any accrued and unpaid Annual Performance Bonus for the prior fiscal year, Executive shall receive the following, subject to the terms and conditions described in Section 4(g) (including Executives execution of the Release (as defined herein)):
(i) Severance Payments. Continuation of payments in an amount equal to Executives then-current Base Salary for a nine (9) month period, less all customary and required taxes and employment-related deductions, in accordance with the Companys normal payroll practices (provided such payments shall be made at least monthly) (the Severance Payments).
(ii) Equity Acceleration. On the date of termination of Executives employment, Executive shall become fully vested in any and all equity awards that would have vested during the six (6) month period following the termination date.
(iii) Benefits Payments. Upon completion of appropriate forms and subject to applicable terms and conditions under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, as amended (COBRA), the Company shall continue to provide Executive medical insurance coverage to the same extent that such insurance continues to be provided to similarly situated executives at the time of Executives termination with the cost of the regular premium for such benefits shared in the same relative proportion by the Company and Executive as in effect on the last day of employment (the COBRA Payment), until the earlier to occur of: (i) nine (9) months following Executives termination date, or (ii) the date Executive becomes eligible for medical benefits with another employer. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if Executives COBRA Payment would cause the applicable group health plan to be discriminatory and, therefore, result in adverse tax consequences to Executive, the Company shall, in lieu of the COBRA Payment, provide Executive with an equivalent monthly cash payment, minus deduction of all amounts required to be deducted or withheld under applicable law, for any period of time Executive is eligible to receive the COBRA Payment. Executive shall bear full responsibility for applying for COBRA continuation coverage and the Company shall have no obligation to provide Executive such coverage if Executive fails to elect COBRA benefits in a timely fashion.
Payment of the above described severance payments and benefits are expressly conditioned on Executives execution without revocation of the Release and return of Company property under Section 6. The Company will commence payment of the Severance Payments and the COBRA Payment on the first payroll date following the date on which the Release required by Section 4(g) becomes effective and non-revocable, provided, that if the 60 day period during which the Release is required to become enforceable and irrevocable crosses a tax year, then the payments will be delayed until such subsequent calendar year; provided further that if such payments are delayed until such subsequent year, the first such payment shall be a lump sum in an amount equal to the payments that would have come due since Executives separation from service.
(f) Termination by the Company Without Cause or by Executive For Good Reason Following a Change of Control. In the event that a Change of Control of the Company (as defined below) occurs and within a period of one (1) year following the Change of Control, or ninety (90) days preceding the earlier to occur of a Change of Control or the execution of a definitive agreement the consummation of which would result in a Change of Control, Executives employment is terminated without Cause, or Executive terminates Executives employment for Good Reason, then, in addition to the Accrued Obligations and any accrued and unpaid Annual Performance Bonus for the prior fiscal year, Executive shall receive the following, subject to the terms and conditions described in Section 4(g) (including Executives execution of the Release):
(i) Lump Sum Severance Payment. Payment of a lump sum amount equal to the sum of (A) twelve (12) months of Executives then-current Base Salary and (B) the Target Performance Bonus for the year in which termination of Executives employment occurs, less all customary and required taxes and employment-related deductions (the Lump Sum Severance Amount).
(ii) Equity Acceleration. On the date of termination of Executives employment, Executive shall become fully vested in any and all equity awards outstanding as of the date of Executives termination and this provision shall supersede any option acceleration provision contained in any option agreement outstanding on the Effective Date.
(iii) Benefit Payments. Upon completion of appropriate forms and subject to applicable terms and conditions under COBRA, the Company shall continue to provide Executive
medical insurance coverage to the same extent that such insurance continues to be provided to similarly situated executives at the time of Executives termination with the cost of the regular premium for such benefits shared in the same relative proportion by the Company and Executive as in effect on the last day of employment, until the earlier to occur of: (i) twelve (12) months following Executives termination date, or (ii) the date Executive becomes eligible for medical benefits with another employer. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if Executives COBRA Payment would cause the applicable group health plan to be discriminatory and, therefore, result in adverse tax consequences to Executive, the Company shall, in lieu of the COBRA Payment, provide Executive with an equivalent monthly cash payment, minus deduction of all amounts required to be deducted or withheld under applicable law, for any period of time Executive is eligible to receive the COBRA Payment. Executive shall bear full responsibility for applying for COBRA continuation coverage and the Company shall have no obligation to provide Executive such coverage if Executive fails to elect COBRA benefits in a timely fashion.
Payment of the above described severance payments and benefits are expressly conditioned on Executives execution without revocation of the Release and return of Company property under Section 6. In the event that Executive is eligible for the severance payments and benefits under this Section 4(f), Executive shall not be eligible for any of the severance payments and benefits as provided in Section 4(e). The Company will pay the Lump Sum Severance Amount and will commence payment of the COBRA Payment on the first payroll date following the date on which the Release required by Section 4(g) becomes effective and non-revocable, provided, that if the 60 day period during which the Release is required to become enforceable and irrevocable crosses a tax year, then the payments will delayed until such subsequent calendar year; provided further that if such payments are delayed until such subsequent year, the first such payment shall be a lump sum in an amount equal to the payments that would have come due since Executives separation from service.
As used herein, a Change of Control shall mean the occurrence of any of the following events: (i) Ownership. Any Person (as such term is used in Sections 13(d) and 14(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended) becomes the Beneficial Owner (as defined in Rule 13d-3 under said Act), directly or indirectly, of securities of the Company representing fifty percent (50%) or more of the total voting power represented by the Companys then outstanding voting securities (excluding for this purpose any such voting securities held by the Company, or any affiliate, parent or subsidiary of the Company, or by any employee benefit plan of the Company) pursuant to a transaction or a series of related transactions; or (ii) Merger/Sale of Assets. (A) A merger or consolidation of the Company whether or not approved by the Board, other than a merger or consolidation which would result in the voting securities of the Company outstanding immediately prior thereto continuing to represent (either by remaining outstanding or by being converted into voting securities of the surviving entity or the parent of such corporation) at least fifty percent (50%) of the total voting power represented by the voting securities of the Company or such surviving entity or parent of such corporation, as the case may be, outstanding immediately after such merger or consolidation; (B) or the Companys stockholders approve an agreement for the sale or disposition by the Company of all or substantially all of the Companys assets; or (iii) Change in Board Composition. A change in the composition of the Board, as a result of which fewer than a majority of the directors are Incumbent Directors. Incumbent Directors shall mean directors who either (A) are directors of the Company as of the date of this Agreement, or (B) are elected, or nominated for election, to the Board with the affirmative votes of at least a majority of the Incumbent Directors, or by a committee of the Board made up of at least a majority of the Incumbent Directors, at the time of such election or nomination (but shall not include an individual whose election or nomination is in connection with an actual or threatened proxy contest relating to the election of directors).
(g) Execution of Release of Claims. The Company shall not be obligated to pay Executive any of the severance payments or benefits described in this Section 4 unless and until Executive has executed (without revocation) a release of claims as described below (the Release). The Release shall contain reasonable and customary provisions including a general release of claims against the Company and its affiliated entities and each of their officers, directors and employees as well as provisions concerning non-disparagement, confidentiality, cooperation and the like. The Release must be provided to Executive not later than fifteen (15) days following the effective date of termination of Executives employment by the Company and executed by Executive and returned to the Company within sixty (60) days after such effective date. If Executive fails or refuses to return the Release within such 60-day period, Executives severance payments and benefits to be paid hereunder shall be forfeited.
(h) No Other Payments or Benefits Owing. Except as expressly set forth herein, the payments and benefits set forth in this Section 4: (a) shall be the sole amounts owing to Executive upon termination of Executives employment for the reasons set forth above, and Executive shall not be eligible for any other payments or other forms of compensation or benefits; (b) shall be the sole remedy, if any, available to Executive in the event that Executive brings any claim against the Company relating to the termination of Executives employment under this Agreement; and (c) shall not be subject to set-off by the Company or any obligation on the part of Executive to mitigate or to offset compensation earned by Executive in other pursuits after termination of employment, other than as specified herein with respect medical benefits provided by another employer.
5. Proprietary Information. Executive expressly acknowledges that: (a) there are competitive and proprietary aspects of the business of the Company; (b) during the course of Executives employment, the Company shall furnish, disclose or make available to Executive confidential and proprietary information and may provide Executive with unique and specialized training; (c) such confidential information and training have been developed and shall be developed by the Company through the expenditure of substantial time, effort and money, and could be used by Executive to compete with the Company; and (d) in the course of Executives employment, Executive shall be introduced to customers and others with important relationships to the Company, and any and all goodwill created through such introductions belongs exclusively to the Company, including, but not limited to, any goodwill created as a result of direct or indirect contacts or relationships between Executive and any customers of the Company. In light of the foregoing acknowledgements, and as a condition of continued employment hereunder, Executive hereby reaffirms, confirms and approves the Proprietary Information and Inventions Assignment Agreement entered into on the date hereof as a binding obligation of the Executive, enforceable in accordance with its terms.
6. Property and Records. Upon the termination of Executives employment hereunder for any reason or for no reason, or if the Company otherwise requests, Executive shall: (a) return to the Company all tangible business information and copies thereof (regardless how such confidential information or copies are maintained), and (b) deliver to the Company any property of the Company which may be in Executives possession, including, but not limited to, devices, smart phones, laptops, cell phones (the foregoing, electronic devices), products, materials, memoranda, notes, records, reports or other documents or photocopies of the same. Executive may retain copies of any exclusively personal data contained in or on the Company-owned electronic devices returned to the Company pursuant to the foregoing. The foregoing notwithstanding, Executive understands and agrees that the Company property belongs exclusively to the Company, it should be used for Company business, and Executive has no reasonable expectation of privacy on any Company property or with respect to any information stored thereon.
7. Cooperation. During and after Executives employment, Executive shall fully cooperate with the Company to the extent reasonable in the defense or prosecution of any claims or actions now in existence or which may be brought in the future against or on behalf of the Company (other than claims directly or indirectly against Executive) which relate to events or occurrences that transpired while Executive was employed by the Company. Executives cooperation in connection with such claims or actions shall include, but not be limited to, being available to meet with counsel to prepare for discovery or trial and to act as a witness on behalf of the Company at mutually convenient times. During and after Executives employment, Executive also shall fully cooperate with the Company to the extent reasonable in connection with any investigation or review of any federal, state or local regulatory authority as any such investigation or review relates to events or occurrences that transpired while Executive was employed by the Company. The Company shall reimburse Executive for any reasonable out-of-pocket expenses incurred in connection with the Executives performance of obligations pursuant to this section.
8. Code Sections 409A and 280G.
(a) In the event that the payments or benefits set forth in Section 4 of this Agreement constitute non-qualified deferred compensation subject to Section 409A, then the following conditions apply to such payments or benefits:
(i) Any termination of Executives employment triggering payment of benefits under Section 4 must constitute a separation from service under Section 409A(a)(2)(A)(i) of the Code and Treas. Reg. §1.409A-1(h) before distribution of such benefits can commence. To the extent that the termination of Executives employment does not constitute a separation of service under Section 409A(a)(2)(A)(i) of the Code and Treas. Reg. §1.409A-1(h) (as the result of further services
that are reasonably anticipated to be provided by Executive to the Company at the time Executives employment terminates), any such payments under Section 4 that constitute deferred compensation under Section 409A shall be delayed until after the date of a subsequent event constituting a separation of service under Section 409A(a)(2)(A)(i) of the Code and Treas. Reg. §1.409A-1(h). For purposes of clarification, this Section 8(a) shall not cause any forfeiture of benefits on Executives part, but shall only act as a delay until such time as a separation from service occurs.
(ii) Notwithstanding any other provision with respect to the timing of payments under Section 4 if, at the time of Executives termination, Executive is deemed to be a specified employee of the Company (within the meaning of Section 409A(a)(2)(B)(i) of the Code), then limited only to the extent necessary to comply with the requirements of Section 409A, any payments to which Executive may become entitled under Section 4 which are subject to Section 409A (and not otherwise exempt from its application) shall be withheld until the first (1st) business day of the seventh (7th) month following the termination of Executives employment, at which time Executive shall be paid an aggregate amount equal to the accumulated, but unpaid, payments otherwise due to Executive under the terms of Section 4.
(b) It is intended that each installment of the payments and benefits provided under Section 4 of this Agreement shall be treated as a separate payment for purposes of Section 409A. Neither the Company nor Executive shall have the right to accelerate or defer the delivery of any such payments or benefits except to the extent specifically permitted or required by Section 409A.
(c) Notwithstanding any other provision of this Agreement to the contrary, this Agreement shall be interpreted and at all times administered in a manner that avoids the inclusion of compensation in income under Section 409A, or the payment of increased taxes, excise taxes or other penalties under Section 409A. The parties intend this Agreement to be in compliance with Section 409A. Executive acknowledges and agrees that the Company does not guarantee the tax treatment or tax consequences associated with any payment or benefit arising under this Agreement, including but not limited to consequences related to Section 409A.
(d) If any payment or benefit Executive would receive under this Agreement, when combined with any other payment or benefit Executive receives pursuant to a Change of Control (for purposes of this section, a Payment) would: (i) constitute a parachute payment within the meaning of Section 280G the Code; and (ii) but for this sentence, be subject to the excise tax imposed by Section 4999 of the Code (the Excise Tax), then such Payment shall be either: (A) the full amount of such Payment; or (B) such lesser amount (with cash payments being reduced before stock option compensation) as would result in no portion of the Payment being subject to the Excise Tax, whichever of the foregoing amounts, taking into account the applicable federal, state and local employments taxes, income taxes, and the Excise Tax, results in Executives receipt, on an after-tax basis, of the greater amount of the Payment notwithstanding that all or some portion of the Payment may be subject to the Excise Tax. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if, prior to the closing of an initial public offering, any Payment can be exempt from the definition of parachute payment and the Excise Tax pursuant to the shareholder approval requirements described in Treas. Regs. § 1.280G-1, Q&A 6, the Company will, at the Executives election (and subject to the Executive signing an appropriate waiver) seek shareholder approval to exempt such Payment from the definition of parachute payment and the Excise Tax.
(a) Notices. Except as otherwise specifically provided herein, any notice required or permitted by this Agreement shall be in writing and shall be delivered as follows with notice deemed given as indicated: (i) by personal delivery when delivered personally; (ii) by overnight courier upon written verification of receipt; (iii) by telecopy or electronic mail transmission provided acknowledgment of receipt of electronic transmission is provided; or (iv) by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, upon verification of receipt.
Notices to Executive shall be sent to the last known address in the Companys records or such other address as Executive may specify in writing.
Notices to the Company shall be sent to:
11025 N. Torrey Pines Road, Suite 200
La Jolla, CA 92037
(b) Modifications and Amendments. The terms and provisions of this Agreement may be modified or amended only by written agreement executed by the parties hereto.
(c) Waivers and Consents. The terms and provisions of this Agreement may be waived, or consent for the departure therefrom granted, only by a written document executed by the party entitled to the benefits of such terms or provisions. No such waiver or consent shall be deemed to be or shall constitute a waiver or consent with respect to any other terms or provisions of this Agreement, whether or not similar. Each such waiver or consent shall be effective only in the specific instance and for the purpose for which it was given and shall not constitute a continuing waiver or consent.
(d) Assignment. The Company may assign its rights and obligations hereunder to any person or entity that succeeds to all or substantially all of the Companys business or that aspect of the Companys business in which Executive is principally involved. Executive may not assign Executives rights and obligations under this Agreement without the prior written consent of the Company.
(e) Governing Law/Dispute Resolution. This Agreement and the rights and obligations of the parties hereunder shall be construed in accordance with and governed by the law of the State of California without giving effect to the conflict of law principles thereof. Any legal action or proceeding with respect to this Agreement shall be brought in the courts of the State of California or of the United States of America for the Southern District of California. By execution and delivery of this Agreement, each of the parties hereto accepts for itself and in respect of its property, generally and unconditionally, the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the aforesaid courts.
(f) Headings and Captions. The headings and captions of the various subdivisions of this Agreement are for convenience of reference only and shall in no way modify or affect the meaning or construction of any of the terms or provisions hereof.
(g) Entire Agreement. This Agreement, together with the other agreements specifically referenced herein, embodies the entire agreement and understanding between the parties hereto with respect to the subject matter hereof and supersedes all prior oral or written agreements and understandings relating to the subject matter hereof. No statement, representation, warranty, covenant or agreement of any kind not expressly set forth in this Agreement shall affect, or be used to interpret, change or restrict, the express terms and provisions of this Agreement.
(h) Counterparts. This Agreement may be executed in two or more counterparts, and by different parties hereto on separate counterparts, each of which shall be deemed an original, but all of which together shall constitute one and the same instrument. For all purposes an electronic signature shall be treated as an original.
[SIGNATURE PAGE FOLLOWS]
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have executed this Agreement as of the date first written above.
Name: Mark Lappe
Title: Chief Executive Officer
Name: Brendan Eckelman