PIEDMONT LITHIUM INC.
STOCK INCENTIVE PLAN
The purpose of this Piedmont Lithium Inc. Stock Incentive Plan (the “Plan”) is to promote and closely align the interests of employees, officers, non-employee directors and other service providers of Piedmont Lithium Inc. (the “Company”) and its stockholders by providing stock-based compensation and other performance-based compensation. The objectives of the Plan are to attract and retain the best available employees for positions of substantial responsibility and to motivate Participants to optimize the profitability and growth of the Company through incentives that are consistent with the Company’s goals and that link the personal interests of Participants to those of the Company’s stockholders. The Plan provides for the grant of Options, Stock Appreciation Rights, Restricted Stock Units and Restricted Stock, any of which may be performance-based, and for Incentive Bonuses, which may be paid in cash or stock or a combination thereof, as determined by the Committee.
As used in the Plan, the following terms shall have the meanings set forth below:
(a) “Affiliate” means any entity in which the Company has a substantial direct or indirect equity interest, as determined by the Committee from time to time.
(b) “Act” means the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, or any successor thereto.
(c) “Award” means an Option, Stock Appreciation Right, Restricted Stock Unit, Restricted Stock or Incentive Bonus granted to a Participant pursuant to the provisions of the Plan, any of which may be subject to performance conditions.
(d) “Award Agreement” means a written or electronic agreement or other instrument as may be approved from time to time by the Committee and designated as such implementing the grant of each Award. An Award Agreement may be in the form of an agreement to be executed by both the Participant and the Company (or an authorized representative of the Company) or certificates, notices or similar instruments as approved by the Committee and designated as such.
(e) “Beneficial Owner” shall have the meaning set forth in Rule 13d-3 under the Act.
(f) “Board” means the board of directors of the Company.
(g) “Change in Control” means the occurrence of any one of the following:
(i) any Person is or becomes the Beneficial Owner, directly or indirectly, of securities of the Company (not including in the securities beneficially owned by such Person or any securities acquired directly from the Company or its Affiliates) representing more than 50% of the combined voting power of the Company’s then outstanding securities, excluding any Person who becomes such a Beneficial Owner in connection with a transaction described in clause (iii) below;
(ii) the following individuals cease for any reason to constitute a majority of the number of directors then serving: (A) individuals who, on the Effective Date (as defined below), constitute the Board and (B) any new director (other than a director whose initial assumption of office is in connection with an actual or threatened election contest, including a consent solicitation, relating to the election of directors of the Company) whose appointment or election by the Board or nomination for election by the Company’s stockholders was approved or recommended by a vote of at least a majority of the directors then still in office who were either directors on the Effective Date or whose appointment, election or nomination for election was previously so approved or recommended;
(iii) there is consummated a merger or consolidation of the Company or any direct or indirect subsidiary of the Company with any other corporation, other than a merger or consolidation which would result in the holders of the voting securities of the Company outstanding immediately prior to such merger or consolidation continuing to represent (either by remaining outstanding or by being converted into voting securities of the surviving entity or any parent thereof) at least 50% of the combined voting power of the securities of the Company or such surviving entity or any parent thereof outstanding immediately after such merger or consolidation in substantially the same proportions as their ownership of the Company immediately prior to such merger or consolidation; or
(iv) the implementation of a plan of complete liquidation or dissolution of the Company; or
(v) there is consummated a sale or disposition by the Company of all or substantially all of the Company’s assets, other than a sale or disposition by the Company of all or substantially all of the Company’s assets to an entity, at least 50% of the combined voting power of the voting securities of which is owned by stockholders of the Company in substantially the same proportions as their ownership of the Company immediately prior to such sale.
(h) “Code” means the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended from time to time, and the rulings and regulations issued thereunder.
(i) “Committee” means the Compensation Committee of the Board (or any successor committee) or such other committee as designated by the Board to administer the Plan under Section 6. In the absence of a Committee, the Board shall be deemed to be the Committee.
(j) “Common Stock” means the common stock of the Company, $0.01 par value per share, or such other class or kind of shares or other securities as may be applicable under Section 15.
(k) “Company” means Piedmont Lithium Inc., a Delaware corporation.
(l) “Dividend Equivalents” mean an amount payable in cash or Common Stock, as determined by the Committee, with respect to a Restricted Stock Unit Award equal to the dividends that would have been paid to the Participant if the shares underlying the Award had been owned by the Participant.
(m) “Effective Date” means the date on which the Plan takes effect, as defined pursuant to Section 4 of the Plan.
(n) “Eligible Person” any current or prospective employee, officer, non-employee director or other service provider of the Company or any of its Subsidiaries; provided however that Incentive Stock Options may only be granted to employees.
(o) “Fair Market Value” means as of any date, the value of the Common Stock determined as follows: (i) if the Common Stock is listed on any established stock exchange, system or market, its Fair Market Value shall be the closing price for the Common Stock as quoted on such exchange, system or market as reported in the Wall Street Journal or such other source as the Committee deems reliable (or, if no sale of Common Stock is reported for such date, on the next preceding date on which any sale shall have been reported); and (ii) in the absence of an established market for the Common Stock, the Fair Market Value thereof shall be determined in good faith by the Committee by the reasonable application of a reasonable valuation method, taking into account factors consistent with Treas. Reg. § 409A-1(b)(5)(iv)(B) as the Committee deems appropriate.
(p) “Incentive Bonus” means a bonus opportunity awarded under Section 11 pursuant to which a Participant may become entitled to receive an amount based on satisfaction of such performance criteria established for a specified performance period as specified in the Award Agreement.
(q) “Incentive Stock Option” means a stock option that is intended to qualify as an “incentive stock option” within the meaning of Section 422 of the Code.
(r) “Nonqualified Stock Option” means a stock option that is not intended to qualify as an “incentive stock option” within the meaning of Section 422 of the Code.
(s) “Option” means a right to purchase a number of shares of Common Stock at such exercise price, at such times and on such other terms and conditions as are specified in or determined pursuant to an Award Agreement. Options granted pursuant to the Plan may be Incentive Stock Options or Nonqualified Stock Options.
(t) “Participant” means any Eligible Person to whom Awards have been granted from time to time by the Committee and any authorized transferee of such individual.
(u) “Person” shall have the meaning given in Section 3(a)(9) of the Act, as modified and used in Sections 13(d) and 14(d) thereof, except that such term shall not include (i) the Company or any of its Affiliates, (ii) a trustee or other fiduciary holding securities under an employee benefit plan of the Company or any of its Subsidiaries, (iii) an underwriter temporarily holding securities pursuant to an offering of such securities or (iv) a corporation owned, directly or indirectly, by the stockholders of the Company in substantially the same proportions as their ownership of stock of the Company.
(v) “Plan” means the Piedmont Lithium Inc. Stock Incentive Plan as set forth herein and as amended from time to time.
(w) “Restricted Stock” means an Award or issuance of Common Stock the grant, issuance, vesting and/or transferability of which is subject during specified periods of time to such conditions (including continued employment or engagement or performance conditions) and terms as the Committee deems appropriate.
(x) “Restricted Stock Unit” means an Award denominated in units of Common Stock under which the issuance of shares of Common Stock (or cash payment in lieu thereof) is subject to such conditions (including continued employment or engagement or performance conditions) and terms as the Committee deems appropriate.
(y) “Separation from Service” or “Separates from Service” means a Termination of Employment that constitutes a “separation from service” within the meaning of Section 409A of the Code.
(z) “Stock Appreciation Right” means a right granted that entitles the Participant to receive, in cash or Common Stock or a combination thereof, as determined by the Committee, value equal to the excess of (i) the Fair Market Value of a specified number of shares of Common Stock at the time of exercise over (ii) the exercise price of the right, as established by the Committee on the date of grant.
(aa) “Subsidiary” means any business association (including a corporation or a partnership, other than the Company) in an unbroken chain of such associations beginning with the Company if each of the associations other than the last association in the unbroken chain owns equity interests (including stock or partnership interests) possessing 50% or more of the total combined voting power of all classes of equity interests in one of the other associations in such chain.
(bb) “Termination of Employment” means ceasing to serve as an employee of the Company and its Subsidiaries or, with respect to a non-employee director or other service provider, ceasing to serve as such for the Company and its Subsidiaries, except that with respect to all or any Awards held by a Participant (i) the Committee may determine that a leave of absence or employment on a less than full-time basis is considered a “Termination of Employment,” (ii) the Committee may determine that a transition from employment to service with a partnership, joint venture or corporation not meeting the requirements of a Subsidiary in which the Company or a Subsidiary is a party is not considered a “Termination of Employment,” (iii) service as a member of the Board shall constitute continued employment with respect to Awards granted to a Participant while he or she served as an employee, and (iv) service as an employee of the Company or a Subsidiary shall constitute continued employment with respect to Awards granted to a Participant while he or she served as a member of the Board or other service provider. The Committee shall determine whether any corporate transaction, such as a sale or spin-off of a division or Subsidiary that employs or engages a Participant, shall be deemed to result in a Termination of Employment with the Company and its Subsidiaries for purposes of any affected Participant’s Awards, and the Committee’s decision shall be final and binding.
Any Eligible Person is eligible for selection by the Committee to receive an Award.
Effective Date and Termination of Plan
This Plan became effective on March 31, 2021 (the “Effective Date”). The Plan shall remain available for the grant of Awards until the 10th anniversary of the Effective Date. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Plan may be terminated at such earlier time as the Board may determine. Termination of the Plan will not affect the rights and obligations of the Participants and the Company arising under Awards theretofore granted.
Shares Subject to the Plan and to Awards
(a) Aggregate Limits. The aggregate number of shares of Common Stock issuable under the Plan shall not exceed 3,000,000 (the “Share Reserve”). The aggregate number of shares of Common Stock available for grant under this Plan and the number of shares of Common Stock subject to Awards outstanding at the time of any event described in Section 15 shall be subject to adjustment as provided in Section 15. The shares of Common Stock issued pursuant to Awards granted under this Plan may be shares that are authorized and unissued or shares that were reacquired by the Company, including shares purchased in the open market.
(b) Issuance of Shares. For purposes of Section 5(a), the aggregate number of shares of Common Stock issued under this Plan at any time shall equal only the number of shares of Common Stock actually issued upon exercise or settlement of an Award. Shares of Common Stock subject to Awards that have been canceled, expired, forfeited or otherwise not issued under an Award and shares of Common Stock subject to Awards settled in cash shall not count as shares of Common Stock issued under this Plan. The aggregate number of shares available for issuance under this Plan at any time shall not be reduced by (i) shares subject to Awards that have been terminated, expired unexercised, forfeited or settled in cash, (ii) shares subject to Awards that have been retained or withheld by the Company in payment or satisfaction of the exercise price, purchase price or tax withholding obligation of an Award, or (iii) shares subject to Awards that otherwise do not result in the issuance of shares in connection with payment or settlement thereof. In addition, shares that have been delivered (either actually or by attestation) to the Company in payment or satisfaction of the exercise price, purchase price or tax withholding obligation of an Award shall be available for issuance under this Plan.
(c) Tax Code Limits. The aggregate number of shares of Common Stock that may be issued pursuant to the exercise of Incentive Stock Options granted under this Plan shall be equal to 3,000,000, which number shall be calculated and adjusted pursuant to Section 15 only to the extent that such calculation or adjustment will not affect the status of any option intended to qualify as an Incentive Stock Option under Section 422 of the Code.
Administration of the Plan
(a) Administrator of the Plan. The Plan shall be administered by the Committee. The Board shall fill vacancies on, and from time to time may remove or add members to, the Committee. The Committee shall act pursuant to a majority vote or unanimous written consent. Any power of the Committee may also be exercised by the Board, except to the extent that the grant or exercise of such authority would cause any Award or transaction to become subject to (or lose an exemption under) the short-swing profit recovery provisions of Section 16 of the Act. To the extent that any permitted action taken by the Board conflicts with action taken by the Committee, the Board action shall control. To the maximum extent permissible under applicable law, the Committee (or any successor) may by resolution delegate any or all of its authority to one or more subcommittees composed of one or more directors and/or officers of the Company, and any such subcommittee shall be treated as the Committee for all purposes under this Plan. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if the Board or the Committee (or any successor) delegates to a subcommittee comprised of one or more officers of the Company (who are not also directors) the authority to grant Awards, the resolution so authorizing such subcommittee shall specify the total number of shares of Common Stock such subcommittee may award pursuant to such delegated authority, and no such subcommittee shall designate any officer serving thereon or any officer (within the meaning of Section 16 of the Act) or non-employee director of the Company as a recipient of any Awards granted under such delegated authority. The Committee hereby delegates to and designates the General Counsel of the Company (or such other officer with similar authority), and to his or her delegates or designees, the authority to assist the Committee in the day-to-day administration of the Plan and of Awards granted under the Plan, including those powers set forth in Section 6(b)(iv) through (ix), and to execute Award Agreements or other documents entered into under this Plan on behalf of the Committee or the Company. The Committee may further designate and delegate to one or more additional officers or employees of the Company or any Subsidiary, and/or one or more agents, authority to assist the Committee in any or all aspects of the day-to-day administration of the Plan and/or of Awards granted under the Plan.
(b) Powers of Committee. Subject to the express provisions of this Plan, the Committee shall be authorized and empowered to do all things that it determines to be necessary or appropriate in connection with the administration of this Plan, including:
(i) to prescribe, amend and rescind rules and regulations relating to this Plan and to define terms not otherwise defined herein;
(ii) to determine which persons are Eligible Persons, to which of such Eligible Persons, if any, Awards shall be granted hereunder and the timing of any such Awards;
(iii) to prescribe and amend the terms of the Award Agreements, to grant Awards and determine the terms and conditions thereof;
(iv) to establish and verify the extent of satisfaction of any performance goals or other conditions applicable to the grant, issuance, retention, vesting, exercisability or settlement of any Award;
(v) to prescribe and amend the terms of or form of any document or notice required to be delivered to the Company by Participants under this Plan;
(vi) to determine the extent to which adjustments are required pursuant to Section 15;
(vii) to interpret and construe this Plan, any rules and regulations under this Plan and the terms and conditions of any Award granted hereunder, and to make exceptions to any such provisions if the Committee, in good faith, determines that it is appropriate to do so;
(viii) to approve corrections in the documentation or administration of any Award; and
(ix) to make all other determinations deemed necessary or advisable for the administration of this Plan.
Notwithstanding anything in this Plan to the contrary, with respect to any Award that is “deferred compensation” under Section 409A of the Code, the Committee shall exercise its discretion in a manner that causes such Awards to be compliant with or exempt from the requirements of such Code section. Without limiting the foregoing, unless expressly agreed to in writing by the Participant holding such Award, the Committee shall not take any action with respect to any Award which constitutes (i) a modification of a stock right within the meaning of Treas. Reg. § 1.409A-1(b)(5)(v)(B) so as to constitute the grant of a new stock right, (ii) an extension of a stock right, including the addition of a feature for the deferral of compensation within the meaning of Treas. Reg. § 1.409A-1 (b)(5)(v)(C), or (iii) an impermissible acceleration of a payment date or a subsequent deferral of a stock right subject to Section 409A of the Code within the meaning of Treas. Reg. § 1.409A-1(b)(5)(v)(E).
The Committee may, in its sole and absolute discretion, without amendment to the Plan but subject to the limitations otherwise set forth in Section 19, waive or amend the operation of Plan provisions respecting exercise after Termination of Employment. The Committee or any member thereof may, in its sole and absolute discretion, except as otherwise provided in Section 19, waive, settle or adjust any of the terms of any Award so as to avoid unanticipated consequences or address unanticipated events (including any temporary closure of an applicable stock exchange, disruption of communications or natural catastrophe).
(c) Determinations by the Committee. All decisions, determinations and interpretations by the Committee regarding the Plan, any rules and regulations under the Plan and the terms and conditions of, or operation of, any Award granted hereunder, shall be final and binding on all Participants, beneficiaries, heirs, assigns or other persons holding or claiming rights under the Plan or any Award. The Committee shall consider such factors as it deems relevant, in its sole and absolute discretion, to making such decisions, determinations and interpretations, including the recommendations or advice of any officer or other employee of the Company and such attorneys, consultants and accountants as it may select. Members of the Board and members of the Committee acting under the Plan shall be fully protected in relying in good faith upon the advice of counsel and shall incur no liability except for as a result of gross negligence or willful misconduct in the performance of their duties.
(d) Subsidiary Awards. In the case of a grant of an Award to any Participant employed by a Subsidiary, such grant may, if the Committee so directs, be implemented by the Company issuing any subject shares of Common Stock to the Subsidiary, for such lawful consideration as the Committee may determine, upon the condition or understanding that the Subsidiary will transfer the shares of Common Stock to the Participant in accordance with the terms of the Award specified by the Committee pursuant to the provisions of the Plan. Notwithstanding any other provision hereof, such Award may be issued by and in the name of the Subsidiary and shall be deemed granted on such date as the Committee shall determine.
(a) Terms Set Forth in Award Agreement. Awards may be granted to Eligible Persons as determined by the Committee at any time and from time to time prior to the termination of the Plan. The terms and conditions of each Award shall be set forth in an Award Agreement in a form approved by the Committee for such Award, which Award Agreement may contain such terms and conditions as specified from time to time by the Committee, provided such terms and conditions do not conflict with the Plan. The Award Agreement for any Award (other than Restricted Stock awards) shall include the time or times at or within which and the consideration, if any, for which any shares of Common Stock may be acquired from the Company. The terms of Awards may vary among Participants, and the Plan does not impose upon the Committee any requirement to make Awards subject to uniform terms. Accordingly, the terms of individual Award Agreements may vary.
(b) Termination of Employment. Subject to the express provisions of the Plan, the Committee shall specify before, at, or after the time of grant of an Award the provisions governing the effect(s) upon an Award of a Participant’s Termination of Employment.
(c) Rights of a Stockholder. A Participant shall have no rights as a stockholder with respect to shares of Common Stock covered by an Award (including voting rights) until the date the Participant becomes the holder of record of such shares of Common Stock. No adjustment shall be made for dividends or other rights for which the record date is prior to such date, except as provided in Section 10(b) or Section 15 of this Plan or as otherwise provided by the Committee.
(a) Grant, Term and Price. The grant, issuance, retention, vesting and/or settlement of any Option shall occur at such time and be subject to such terms and conditions as determined by the Committee or under criteria established by the Committee, which may include conditions based on continued employment or engagement, passage of time, attainment of age and/or service requirements, and/or satisfaction of performance conditions. The term of an Option shall in no event be greater than 10 years; provided, however, the term of an Option (other than an Incentive Stock Option) shall be automatically extended if, at the time of its scheduled expiration, the Participant holding such Option is prohibited by law or the Company’s insider trading policy from exercising the Option, which extension shall expire on the 30th day following the date such prohibition no longer applies. The Committee will establish the price at which Common Stock may be purchased upon exercise of an Option, which, in the case of Incentive Stock Options, in no event will be less than the Fair Market Value of such shares on the date of grant. The exercise price of any Option may be paid in cash or such other method as determined by the Committee, including an irrevocable commitment by a broker to pay over such amount from a sale of the shares of Common Stock issuable under an Option, the delivery of previously owned shares of Common Stock or withholding of shares of Common Stock deliverable upon exercise.
(b) No Repricing without Stockholder Approval. Other than in connection with a change in the Company’s capitalization (as described in Section 15), the Committee shall not, without stockholder approval, reduce the exercise price of a previously awarded Option, and at any time when the exercise price of a previously awarded Option is above the Fair Market Value of a share of Common Stock, the Committee shall not, without stockholder approval, cancel and re-grant or exchange such Option for cash or a new Award with a lower (or no) exercise price.
(c) No Reload Grants. Options shall not be granted under the Plan in consideration for, and shall not be conditioned upon the delivery of, shares of Common Stock to the Company in payment of the exercise price and/or tax withholding obligation under any other employee stock option.
(d) Incentive Stock Options. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Section 8, in the case of the grant of an Incentive Stock Option, if the Participant owns stock possessing more than 10% of the combined voting power of all classes of stock of the Company (a “10% Stockholder”), the exercise price of such Option must be at least 110% of the Fair Market Value of the shares of Common Stock on the date of grant and the Option must expire within a period of not more than five years from the date of grant. Notwithstanding anything in this Section 8 to the contrary, options designated as Incentive Stock Options shall not be eligible for treatment under the Code as Incentive Stock Options (and will be deemed to be Nonqualified Stock Options) to the extent that either (i) the aggregate Fair Market Value of shares of Common Stock (determined as of the time of grant) with respect to which such Options are exercisable for the first time by the Participant during any calendar year (under all plans of the Company and any Subsidiary) exceeds $100,000, taking Options into account in the order in which they were granted, or (ii) such Options otherwise remain exercisable but are not exercised within three months (or such other period of time provided in Section 422 of the Code) of separation of service (as determined in accordance with Section 3401(c) of the Code and the regulations promulgated thereunder).
(e) No Stockholder Rights. Participants shall have no voting rights and will have no rights to receive dividends or Dividend Equivalents in respect of an Option or any shares of Common Stock subject to an Option until the Participant has become the holder of record of such shares.
Stock Appreciation Rights
(a) General Terms. The grant, issuance, retention, vesting and/or settlement of any Stock Appreciation Right shall occur at such time and be subject to such terms and conditions as determined by the Committee or under criteria established by the Committee, which may include conditions based on continued employment or engagement, passage of time, attainment of age and/or service requirements, and/or satisfaction of performance conditions. Stock Appreciation Rights may be granted to Participants from time to time either in tandem with or as a component of Options granted under the Plan (“tandem SARs”) or not in conjunction with other Awards (“freestanding SARs”). Upon exercise of a tandem SAR as to some or all of the shares covered by the grant, the related Option shall be canceled automatically to the extent of the number of shares covered by such exercise. Conversely, if the related Option is exercised as to some or all of the shares covered by the grant, the related tandem SAR, if any, shall be canceled automatically to the extent of the number of shares covered by the Option exercise. Any Stock Appreciation Right granted in tandem with an Option may be granted at the same time such Option is granted or at any time thereafter before exercise or expiration of such Option, provided that the Fair Market Value of Common Stock on the date of the SAR’s grant is not greater than the exercise price of the related Option. All freestanding SARs shall be granted subject to the same terms and conditions applicable to Options as set forth in Section 8 and all tandem SARs shall have the same exercise price as the Option to which they relate. Subject to the provisions of Section 8 and the immediately preceding sentence, the Committee may impose such other conditions or restrictions on any Stock Appreciation Right as it shall deem appropriate. Stock Appreciation Rights may be settled in Common Stock, cash, Restricted Stock or a combination thereof, as determined by the Committee and set forth in the applicable Award Agreement.
(b) No Repricing without Stockholder Approval. Other than in connection with a change in the Company’s capitalization (as described in Section 15), the Committee shall not, without stockholder approval, reduce the exercise price of a previously awarded Stock Appreciation Right, and at any time when the exercise price of a previously awarded Stock Appreciation Right is above the Fair Market Value of a share of Common Stock, the Committee shall not, without stockholder approval, cancel and re-grant or exchange such Stock Appreciation Right for cash or a new Award with a lower (or no) exercise price.
(c) No Stockholder Rights. Participants shall have no voting rights and will have no rights to receive dividends or Dividend Equivalents in respect of an Award of Stock Appreciation Rights or any shares of Common Stock subject to an Award of Stock Appreciation Rights until the Participant has become the holder of record of such shares.
Restricted Stock and Restricted Stock Units
(a) Vesting and Performance Criteria. The grant, issuance, vesting and/or settlement of any Award of Restricted Stock or Restricted Stock Units shall occur at such time and be subject to such terms and conditions as determined by the Committee or under criteria established by the Committee, which may include conditions based on continued employment or engagement, passage of time, attainment of age and/or service requirements, and/or satisfaction of performance conditions. In addition, the Committee shall have the right to grant Restricted Stock or Restricted Stock Unit Awards as the form of payment for grants or rights earned or due under other stockholder-approved compensation plans or arrangements of the Company.
(b) Dividends and Distributions. Participants in whose name Restricted Stock is granted shall be entitled to receive all dividends and other distributions paid with respect to those shares of Common Stock, unless determined otherwise by the Committee. The Committee will determine whether any such dividends or distributions will be automatically reinvested in additional shares of Restricted Stock and/or subject to the same restrictions on transferability as the Restricted Stock with respect to which they were distributed or whether such dividends or distributions will be paid in cash. Shares underlying Restricted Stock Units shall be entitled to dividends or distributions only to the extent provided by the Committee. Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, in no event will dividends or Dividend Equivalents be paid during the performance period with respect to unearned Awards of Restricted Stock or Restricted Stock Units that are subject to performance-based vesting criteria. Dividends or Dividend Equivalents accrued on such shares shall become payable no earlier than the date the performance-based vesting criteria have been achieved and the underlying shares or Restricted Stock Units have been earned.
(a) Performance Criteria. The Committee shall establish the performance criteria and level of achievement versus such criteria that shall determine the amount payable under an Incentive Bonus, which may include a target, threshold and/or maximum amount payable and any formula for determining such achievement, and which criteria may be based on performance conditions.
(b) Timing and Form of Payment. The Committee shall determine the timing of payment of any Incentive Bonus. Payment of the amount due under an Incentive Bonus may be made in cash or in Common Stock, as determined by the Committee.
(c) Discretionary Adjustments. Notwithstanding satisfaction of any performance goals and, the amount paid under an Incentive Bonus on account of either financial performance or personal performance evaluations may be adjusted by the Committee on the basis of such further considerations as the Committee shall determine.
The Committee may establish performance criteria and level of achievement versus such criteria that shall determine the number of shares of Common Stock, Restricted Stock Units, or cash to be granted, retained, vested, issued or issuable under or in settlement of or the amount payable pursuant to an Award (any such Award, a “Performance Award”). A Performance Award may be identified as “Performance Share,” “Performance Equity,” “Performance Unit” or other such term as chosen by the Committee.
The Committee may, in an Award Agreement or otherwise, provide for the deferred delivery of Common Stock or cash upon settlement, vesting or other events with respect to Restricted Stock Units, or in payment or satisfaction of an Incentive Bonus. Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, in no event will any election to defer the delivery of Common Stock or any other payment with respect to any Award be allowed if the Committee determines, in its sole discretion, that the deferral would result in the imposition of the additional tax under Section 409A(a)(1)(B) of the Code. No Award shall provide for deferral of compensation that does not comply with Section 409A of the Code. The Company, any Subsidiary or Affiliate which is in existence or hereafter comes into existence, the Board and the Committee shall have no liability to a Participant, or any other party, if an Award that is intended to be exempt from, or compliant with, Section 409A of the Code is not so exempt or compliant or for any action taken by the Board or the Committee.
Conditions and Restrictions Upon Securities Subject to Awards
The Committee may provide that the Common Stock issued upon exercise of an Option or Stock Appreciation Right or otherwise subject to or issued under an Award shall be subject to such further agreements, restrictions, conditions or limitations as the Committee in its discretion may specify prior to the exercise of such Option or Stock Appreciation Right or the grant, vesting or settlement of such Award, including conditions on vesting or transferability, forfeiture or repurchase provisions and method of payment for the Common Stock issued upon exercise, vesting or settlement of such Award (including the actual or constructive surrender of Common Stock already owned by the Participant) or payment of taxes arising in connection with an Award. Without limiting the foregoing, such restrictions may address the timing and manner of any resales by the Participant or other subsequent transfers by the Participant of any shares of Common Stock issued under an Award, including (i) restrictions under an insider trading policy or pursuant to applicable law, (ii) restrictions designed to delay and/or coordinate the timing and manner of sales by the Participant and holders of other Company equity compensation arrangements, (iii) restrictions as to the use of a specified brokerage firm for such resales or other transfers and (iv) provisions requiring Common Stock be sold on the open market or to the Company in order to satisfy tax withholding or other obligations.
Adjustment of and Changes in the Stock
(a) The number and kind of shares of Common Stock available for issuance under this Plan (including under any Awards then outstanding), and the number and kind of shares of Common Stock subject to the limits set forth in Section 5 of this Plan, shall be equitably adjusted by the Committee to reflect any reorganization, reclassification, combination of shares, stock split, reverse stock split, spin-off, dividend or distribution of securities, property or cash (other than regular, quarterly cash dividends), or any other event or transaction that affects the number or kind of shares of Common Stock outstanding. Such adjustment may be designed to comply with Section 424 of the Code or may be designed to treat the shares of Common Stock available under the Plan and subject to Awards as if they were all outstanding on the record date for such event or transaction or to increase the number of such shares of Common Stock to reflect a deemed reinvestment in shares of Common Stock of the amount distributed to the Company’s securityholders. The terms of any outstanding Award shall also be equitably adjusted by the Committee as to price, number or kind of shares of Common Stock subject to such Award, vesting, and other terms to reflect the foregoing events, which adjustments need not be uniform as between different Awards or different types of Awards. No fractional shares of Common Stock shall be issued or issuable pursuant to such an adjustment.
(b) In the event there shall be any other change in the number or kind of outstanding shares of Common Stock, or any stock or other securities into which such Common Stock shall have been changed, or for which it shall have been exchanged, by reason of a Change in Control, other merger, consolidation or otherwise, then the Committee shall determine the appropriate and equitable adjustment to be effected, which adjustments need not be uniform between different Awards or different types of Awards. In addition, in the event of such change described in this paragraph, the Committee may accelerate the time or times at which any Award may be exercised, consistent with and as otherwise permitted under Section 409A of the Code, and may provide for cancellation of such accelerated Awards that are not exercised within a time prescribed by the Committee in its sole discretion.
(c) Unless otherwise expressly provided in the Award Agreement or another contract, including an employment or services agreement, or under the terms of a transaction constituting a Change in Control, the following shall occur: (i) in the case of an Option or Stock Appreciation Right, the Participant shall have the ability to exercise any portion of the Option or Stock Appreciation Right not previously exercisable, (ii) in the case of any Award the vesting of which is in whole or in part subject to performance criteria or an Incentive Bonus, all conditions to the grant, issuance, retention, vesting or transferability of, or any other restrictions applicable to, such Award shall immediately lapse and the Participant shall have the right to receive a payment based on target level achievement or actual performance through a date determined by the Committee, and (iii) in the case of outstanding Restricted Stock and/or Restricted Stock Units (other than those referenced in subsection (ii)), all conditions to the grant, issuance, retention, vesting or transferability of, or any other restrictions applicable to, such Award shall immediately lapse. In no event shall any action be taken pursuant to this Section 15 that would change the payment or settlement date of an Award in a manner that would result in the imposition of any additional taxes or penalties pursuant to Section 409A of the Code.
(d) Notwithstanding anything in this Section 15 to the contrary, in the event of a Change in Control, the Committee may provide for the cancellation and cash settlement of all outstanding Awards upon such Change in Control.
(e) The Company shall notify Participants holding Awards subject to any adjustments pursuant to this Section 15 of such adjustment, but (whether or not notice is given) such adjustment shall be effective and binding for all purposes of the Plan.
(f) Notwithstanding anything in this Section 15 to the contrary, an adjustment to an Option or Stock Appreciation Right under this Section 15 shall be made in a manner that will not result in the grant of a new Option or Stock Appreciation Right under Section 409A of the Code.
Each Award may not be sold, transferred for value, pledged, assigned, or otherwise alienated or hypothecated by a Participant other than by will or the laws of descent and distribution, and each Option or Stock Appreciation Right shall be exercisable only by the Participant during his or her lifetime. Notwithstanding the foregoing, (a) outstanding Options may be exercised following the Participant’s death by the Participant’s beneficiaries or as permitted by the Committee and (b) a Participant may transfer or assign an Award as a gift to an entity wholly owned by such Participant (an “Assignee Entity”), provided that such Assignee Entity shall be entitled to exercise assigned Options and Stock Appreciation Rights only during the lifetime of the assigning Participant (or following the assigning Participant’s death, by the Participant’s beneficiaries or as otherwise permitted by the Committee) and provided further that such Assignee Entity shall not further sell, pledge, transfer, assign or otherwise alienate or hypothecate such Award.
Compliance with Laws and Regulations
(a) This Plan, the grant, issuance, vesting, exercise and settlement of Awards hereunder, and the obligation of the Company to sell, issue or deliver shares of Common Stock under such Awards, shall be subject to all applicable foreign, federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations, stock exchange rules and regulations, and to such approvals by any governmental or regulatory agency as may be required. The Company shall not be required to register in a Participant’s name or deliver Common Stock prior to the completion of any registration or qualification of such shares under any foreign, federal, state or local law or any ruling or regulation of any government body which the Committee shall determine to be necessary or advisable. To the extent the Company is unable to or the Committee deems it infeasible to obtain authority from any regulatory body having jurisdiction, which authority is deemed by the Company’s counsel to be necessary to the lawful issuance and sale of any shares of Common Stock hereunder, the Company and its Subsidiaries shall be relieved of any liability with respect to the failure to issue or sell such shares of Common Stock as to which such requisite authority shall not have been obtained. No Option shall be exercisable and no Common Stock shall be issued and/or transferable under any other Award unless a registration statement with respect to the Common Stock underlying such Option is effective and current or the Company has determined, in its sole and absolute discretion, that such registration is unnecessary.
(b) In the event an Award is granted to or held by a Participant who is employed or providing services outside the United States, the Committee may, in its sole discretion, modify the provisions of the Plan or of such Award as they pertain to such individual to comply with applicable foreign law or to recognize differences in local law, currency or tax policy. The Committee may also impose conditions on the grant, issuance, exercise, vesting, settlement or retention of Awards in order to comply with such foreign law and/or to minimize the Company’s obligations with respect to tax equalization for Participants employed outside their home country.
To the extent required by applicable federal, state, local or foreign law, the Committee may, and/or a Participant shall, make arrangements satisfactory to the Company for the satisfaction of any withholding tax obligations that arise with respect to any Award or the issuance or sale of any shares of Common Stock. The Company shall not be required to recognize any Participant rights under an Award, to issue shares of Common Stock or to recognize the disposition of such shares of Common Stock until such obligations are satisfied. To the extent permitted or required by the Committee, these obligations may or shall be satisfied by the Company withholding cash from any compensation otherwise payable to or for the benefit of a Participant, the Company withholding a portion of the shares of Common Stock that otherwise would be issued to a Participant under such Award or any other Award held by the Participant, or by the Participant tendering to the Company cash or, if allowed by the Committee, shares of Common Stock.
Amendment of the Plan or Awards
The Board may amend, alter or discontinue this Plan, and the Committee may amend or alter any Award Agreement or other document evidencing an Award made under this Plan; however, except as provided pursuant to the provisions of Section 15, no such amendment shall, without the approval of the stockholders of the Company:
(a) increase the maximum number of shares of Common Stock for which Awards may be granted under this Plan;
(b) reprice outstanding Options or SARs as described in 8(b) and 9(b);
(c) extend the term of this Plan;
(d) change the class of persons eligible to be Participants; or
(e) otherwise amend the Plan in any manner requiring stockholder approval by law or the rules of any stock exchange or market or quotation system on which the Common Stock is traded, listed or quoted.
No amendment or alteration to the Plan or an Award or Award Agreement shall be made which would materially impair the rights of the holder of an Award without such holder’s consent; provided that no such consent shall be required if the Committee determines in its sole discretion and prior to the date of any Change in Control that such amendment or alteration either (i) is required or advisable in order for the Company, the Plan or the Award to satisfy any law or regulation or to meet the requirements of, or avoid adverse financial accounting consequences under, any accounting standard, or (ii) is not reasonably likely to significantly diminish the benefits provided under such Award, or that any such diminishment has been adequately compensated.
No Liability of Company
The Company, any Subsidiary or Affiliate which is in existence or hereafter comes into existence, the Board and the Committee shall not be liable to a Participant or any other person as to: (a) the non-issuance or sale of shares of Common Stock as to which the Company has been unable to obtain from any regulatory body having jurisdiction the authority deemed by the Company’s counsel to be necessary to the lawful issuance and sale of any shares of Common Stock hereunder; and (b) any tax consequence expected, but not realized, by any Participant or other person due to the receipt, vesting, exercise or settlement of any Award granted hereunder.
Non-Exclusivity of Plan
Neither the adoption of this Plan by the Board nor the submission of this Plan to the stockholders of the Company for approval shall be construed as creating any limitations on the power of the Board or the Committee to adopt such other incentive arrangements as either may deem desirable, including the granting of Restricted Stock or stock options otherwise than under this Plan, and such arrangements may be either generally applicable or applicable only in specific cases.
This Plan and any agreements or other documents hereunder shall be interpreted and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Delaware and applicable federal law. Any reference in this Plan or in the agreement or other document evidencing any Awards to a provision of law or to a rule or regulation shall be deemed to include any successor law, rule or regulation of similar effect or applicability.
No Right to Employment, Reelection or Continued Service
Nothing in this Plan or an Award Agreement shall interfere with or limit in any way the right of the Company, its Subsidiaries and/or its Affiliates to terminate any Participant’s employment, service on the Board or service at any time or for any reason not prohibited by law, nor shall this Plan or an Award itself confer upon any Participant any right to continue his or her employment or service for any specified period of time. Neither an Award nor any benefits arising under this Plan shall constitute an employment contract with the Company, any Subsidiary and/or its Affiliates. Subject to Sections 4 and 19, this Plan and the benefits hereunder may be terminated at any time in the sole and exclusive discretion of the Board without giving rise to any liability on the part of the Company, its Subsidiaries and/or its Affiliates.
Specified Employee Delay
To the extent any payment under this Plan is considered deferred compensation subject to the restrictions contained in Section 409A of the Code, such payment may not be made to a specified employee (as determined in accordance with a uniform policy adopted by the Company with respect to all arrangements subject to Section 409A of the Code) upon Separation from Service before the date that is six months after the specified employee’s Separation form Service (or, if earlier, the specified employee’s death). Any payment that would otherwise be made during this period of delay shall be accumulated and paid on the sixth month plus one day following the specified employee’s Separation from Service (or, if earlier, as soon as administratively practicable after the specified employee’s death).
No Liability of Committee Members
No member of the Committee shall be personally liable by reason of any contract or other instrument executed by such member or on his or her behalf in his or her capacity as a member of the Committee nor for any mistake of judgment made in good faith, and the Company shall indemnify and hold harmless each member of the Committee and each other employee, officer or director of the Company to whom any duty or power relating to the administration or interpretation of the Plan may be allocated or delegated, against any cost or expense (including counsel fees) or liability (including any sum paid in settlement of a claim) arising out of any act or omission to act in connection with the Plan, unless arising out of such person’s own fraud or willful bad faith; provided, however, that approval of the Board shall be required for the payment of any amount in settlement of a claim against any such person. The foregoing right of indemnification shall not be exclusive of any other rights of indemnification to which such persons may be entitled under the Company’s Certificate of Incorporation and Bylaws (as each may be amended from time to time), as a matter of law, or otherwise, or any power that the Company may have to indemnify them or hold them harmless.
If any provision of the Plan or any Award is or becomes or is deemed to be invalid, illegal, or unenforceable in any jurisdiction or as to any Person or Award, or would disqualify the Plan or any Award under any law deemed applicable by the Committee, such provision shall be construed or deemed amended to conform to the applicable laws, or if it cannot be construed or deemed amended without, in the determination of the Committee, materially altering the intent of the Plan or the Award, such provision shall be stricken as to such jurisdiction, Person or Award, and the remainder of the Plan and any such Award shall remain in full force and effect.
The Plan is intended to be an unfunded plan. Participants are and shall at all times be general creditors of the Company with respect to their Awards. If the Committee or the Company chooses to set aside funds in a trust or otherwise for the payment of Awards under the Plan, such funds shall at all times be subject to the claims of the creditors of the Company in the event of its bankruptcy or insolvency.
Headings are given to the Sections and subsections of the Plan solely as a convenience to facilitate reference and shall not be deemed in any way material or relevant to the construction or interpretation of the Plan or any provision thereof. Words in the masculine gender shall include the feminine gender, and where appropriate, the plural shall include the singular and the singular shall include the plural. The use herein of the word “including” following any general statement, term or matter shall not be construed to limit such statement, term or matter to the specific items or matters set forth immediately following such word or to similar items or matters, whether or not non-limiting language (such as “without limitation”, “but not limited to”, or words of similar import) is used with reference thereto, but rather shall be deemed to refer to all other items or matters that could reasonably fall within the broadest possible scope of such general statement, term or matter. References herein to any agreement, instrument or other document means such agreement, instrument or other document as amended, supplemented and modified from time to time to the extent permitted by the provisions thereof and not prohibited by the Plan.
Adopted by the Board
As of March 31, 2021