Form of Norfolk Southern Corporation Long-Term Incentive Plan, Award Agreement for non-qualified stock options approved by the Compensation Committee on November 16, 2020
EX-10.EEE 4 nsc202010-kexhibit10eee.htm EX-10.EEE Document
Exhibit 10 (eee)
Norfolk Southern Corporation Long-Term Incentive Plan
Non-Qualified Stock Option
This AGREEMENT dated as of <Date> (Award Date), between NORFOLK SOUTHERN CORPORATION (Corporation), a Virginia corporation, and <Employee Name> (Participant), Employee ID No. <Emp_Id>.
1. Award Contingent Upon Execution of this Agreement and of Non-Compete. This Award is contingent upon the Participant’s execution of this Agreement and the associated non-compete agreement, which is a condition precedent to this Award. This Award shall be void, and the Participant shall not be entitled to any rights hereunder, unless the Participant executes this Agreement and the non-compete agreement on or before <Date>, and thereafter fully complies with its terms.
2.Terms of Plan Govern. The Award made hereunder is made pursuant to the Norfolk Southern Corporation Long-Term Incentive Plan (Plan), all the terms and conditions of which are deemed to be incorporated in this Agreement and which forms a part of this Agreement. The Participant agrees to be bound by all the terms and conditions of the Plan and this agreement, and by all determinations of the Committee thereunder. Capitalized terms used in this Agreement but not defined herein shall have the same meanings as in the Plan.
3.Award of Non-Qualified Stock Option. The Corporation hereby grants to the Participant on Award Date a Non-Qualified Stock Option (NQSO) to purchase <#> shares of the Corporation’s Common Stock at a price of $<Share Price> per share.
(a)Duration of Option. This Option (to the extent not earlier exercised) will expire at 11:59 p.m. on <Date>, being ten years from the Award Date. However, this Option is subject to earlier termination if the Participant’s employment with the Corporation or a Subsidiary Company is terminated for a reason other than Disability or death, as follows: (i) if the Participant’s employment is terminated because of the Participant’s Retirement, the Option shall expire on the earlier of 11:59 p.m. on <Date>, or 11:59 p.m. on the date that is five years after date of the Participant’s Retirement; (ii) if the Participant’s employment is terminated for any other reason, the Option shall expire at the close of business on the last day of active service by the Participant with the Corporation or a Subsidiary Company. If the Participant is granted a leave of absence and his or her employment with the Corporation or a Subsidiary Company terminates at any time during or at the end of the leave of absence, the Option grant shall expire at the close of business on the last day of employment with the Corporation or a Subsidiary Company.
Notwithstanding the foregoing, if the Participant Engages in Competing Employment within a period of two years following Retirement or Disability, the term of this Option shall terminate immediately, and all rights of the Participant to such Options shall terminate immediately without further obligation on the part of the Corporation or any Subsidiary Company. A Participant “Engages in Competing Employment” if the Participant works for or provides services for any Competitor, on the Participant’s own behalf or on behalf of others, including, but not limited to, as a consultant, independent contractor, director, owner, officer, partner, joint venturer, or employee. For this purpose, a “Competitor” is any entity in the same line of business as the Corporation in North American markets in which the Corporation competes, including, but not limited to, any North American Class I rail carrier, any other rail carrier competing with the Corporation (including without limitation a holding or other company that controls or operates or is otherwise affiliated with any rail carrier competing with the Corporation), and any other provider of transportation services competing with Corporation, including motor and water carriers.
In addition, notwithstanding the foregoing, the term of this Option shall terminate immediately, and all rights of the Participant to such Options shall terminate immediately without further obligation on the part of the Corporation or any Subsidiary Company, if:
i.the Participant’s employment is terminated by reason of the Retirement or Disability of the Participant, and
ii. it is determined that the Participant engaged in any of the following:
A.the Participant engaged in an act of fraud, embezzlement or theft in connection with the Participant’s duties or in the course of the Participant’s employment with the Corporation or Subsidiary Company; or
B.the Participant disclosed confidential information in violation of a confidentiality agreement with the Corporation or a Subsidiary Company, or otherwise in violation of the law.
A determination under this paragraph shall be made by the Committee with respect to a participant who was, at any time, employed at the level of Vice President or above, and this determination shall be made by the Vice President Human Resources with respect to all other participants, and in either situation upon consultation with the Corporation’s chief legal officer.
Participant understands that nothing in this Agreement (1) prohibits or impedes Participant from reporting possible violations of federal law or regulation to any governmental agency or entity (including but not limited to the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Congress, and any agency Inspector General), from making other disclosures that are protected under the whistleblower provisions of federal law or regulation, or from receiving a monetary award from the SEC related to participation in an SEC investigation or proceeding, or (2) requires Participant to obtain prior authorization of the Corporation to make any such reports or disclosures or to notify the Corporation of such reports or disclosures.
(b) Exercise of Option. This Option may be exercised in whole or in part at any time or times prior to its expiration; provided that the first exercise of this Option shall not occur before the fourth anniversary of the date on which the Option was granted. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if the Participant’s employment with the Corporation or a Subsidiary Company is terminated by reason of the Participant’s Retirement or death before the fourth anniversary of the date on which the Option was granted, the Participant (or, in the case of death, the Participant’s Beneficiary) may first exercise this Option on the later of the first anniversary of the date on which this Option was granted or the effective date of the Participant’s Retirement or death. Notice of the exercise of all or any part of this Option shall be given in the manner prescribed by the Secretary of the Corporation. Such notice shall be irrevocable, shall specify the number of shares to be purchased and the purchase price to be paid therefore, and must be accompanied by the payment of the purchase price as provided in paragraph 3(c) herein. Upon the exercise of such Option, the Common Stock purchased will be distributed.
(c)Payment of Option Price. The purchase price of Common Stock upon exercise of this Option shall be paid in full to the Corporation at the time of the exercise of the Option in cash or by the surrender to the Corporation of shares of previously acquired Common Stock which shall have been held by the Participant for at least six months and which shall be valued at Fair Market Value on the date the Option is exercised, or by a combination of cash and such Common Stock.
(d) Nontransferability. This Option may be exercised during the lifetime of the Participant only by the Participant, and following death only by the Participant’s Beneficiary. If a Beneficiary dies after the Participant dies but before the Option is exercised and before such rights expire, such rights shall become assets of the Beneficiary’s estate. Except as provided in this paragraph, Options may not be assigned or alienated, whether voluntarily or involuntarily including, without limitation, under any domestic relations order, and any such attempted assignment or alienation shall be null, void, and of no effect.
4.Dividend Equivalent Payments. Except as otherwise provided herein, for a period of four years from the date of this Agreement, the Corporation shall make to the Participant who holds an option under this Agreement on the declared record date a cash payment on the outstanding shares of Common Stock covered by this Option, payable on or about the tenth (10th) day of March, June, September, and December, in an amount equal to dividends declared by the Board of Directors of the Corporation and paid on Common Stock. If the employment of the Participant is terminated for any reason, including Retirement, Disability or death, prior to the declared record date for any dividend, the Corporation shall have no further obligation to make any payments commensurate with dividends on shares of Common Stock covered by this Option. Each dividend equivalent shall be equal to the amount of the regular quarterly dividend paid in accordance with the Corporation’s normal dividend payment practice as may be
determined by the Committee, in its sole discretion. Dividend equivalent payments shall not be made during a Participant’s leave of absence.
5.Savings Clause for Rules of Professional Responsibility. Nothing contained in this Agreement will operate or be construed to restrict a lawyer in the practice of law in contravention of Rule 5.6 of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct or a similar professional conduct rule applicable to a lawyer who is an active member of any other state bar.
6.Recoupment. The Participant acknowledges that the Corporation shall recover from any Participant who is a current or former executive officer all or any portion of any exercised Options to the extent required by Section 954 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, Public Law No. 111-203, or as may otherwise be required by law.
7.Governing Law. The Participant agrees that this Award shall be governed by and interpreted in accordance with the laws of the State of Georgia without regard to Georgia’s choice of law rules. The Participant consents to the personal jurisdiction of the federal and/or state courts serving the State of Georgia and waives any defenses of forum non conveniens. The Participant agrees that any and all initial judicial actions related to this Award shall only be brought in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, or the appropriate state court in the City of Atlanta, Georgia, regardless of the place of Participant’s residence or work location at the time of such action.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Corporation has caused this Agreement to be executed by its duly authorized officer, and the Participant has executed this Agreement by his or her electronic acceptance hereof, in acceptance of the above-mentioned Award, subject to the terms of the Plan and of this Agreement, all as of the day and year first above written.
NORFOLK SOUTHERN CORPORATION