Building & Keeping Your Executive Team: How to Recruit and Retain Senior Executives for Your Startup or Early Stage Company

This presentation was given earlier this year on May 17, 2022, for the Boston Entrepreneurs’ Network (ENET), where I was one of three invited speakers for the ENET’s webinar that evening on the topic “Recruiting Board Members and Senior Executives”.

As I explained to the ENET audience that night, since 2016, my law work has increasingly focused on executive representations, negotiations over job offers, employment terms, equity, executive compensation, separation and severance, for C-level and senior executive clients.

Today, more than 95% of my law work and 98% of all new law work consists of those representations. 

But on occasion, a company will hire me.

Why would a company do that?  Why would a company hire an attorney known to be one so focused on representing the interest of executives?

The reason:   The company is  having difficulty recruiting an A-level senior executive.  They cannot pay top dollar and are willing to try something different to recruit that ideal man or woman to fill the pressing need in their organization.

So … in that time of pressing need, the company hires me, as one who knows what executives seek to help the company “think out of the box” – to devise a strategy and prepare documents to get the best executive at the least cost and within the company budget.   For a startup or  early stage company, it is executive recruitment on a shoestring.

In my work representing companies, my slogan is “Appear Generous.  Demand Performance.”  The strategy I develop and then the documents I prepare are radically different then most executive employment and equity documents.  My documents do appear to be fair …even generous.  And in recruitment, I help the company with its “sell” – telling executives, “Even at less base pay you will come out ahead with our package.  And what’s more, this package reflects a culture where you will be valued and respected.”

But we still demand performance.  My documents are still employment “at-will” and I make sure that a company can readily terminate a non-performer.  But what is different, is that my documents provide that if the executive does perform, he or she won’t be cheated out of what they earned.   Sadly, that element of basic fairness, is often so rare in today’s corporate America.

In my presentation and slides, I discuss such issues as

Between the revolutionary terms I suggest,  and our explanation and “sell” to the executive recruit, I have had a high success rate.   Although we are often significantly outbid on the dollar figure, I often get my target man or woman for my company client.

For my slides for this presentation, LINK:  https://www.slideshare.net/RobertAdelson/building-keeping-your-executive-team-how-to-recruit-and-retain-senior-executives-for-your-startup-or-early-stage-company

To see and listen to the video of my 19-minute ENET presentation on executive recruitment from my website, LINK:  https://youtu.be/vCCJ5RO1blw

or access both my presentation slides and video recording on my website, LINK:   https://www.executiveemploymentattorney.com/building-keeping-your-executive-team-how-to-recruit-and-retain-senior-executives-for-your-startup-or-early-stage-company/   

It is my hope that this article will be of benefit to CEOs and Company founders who are having difficulty in recruiting a high caliber C-level and senior executive for a role key to growth, and might want to think out of the box….  Feel free to share these slides or this portion of my October 2022 Business Law Newsletter.  If you or any colleague of yours has a need in this area, please do reach out to me at rob@attorneyadelson.com  or 617-875-8665.

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Negotiating Favorable Executive Equity Terms in an LLC – Capital vs. Profit Interests

Two weeks ago, on Sunday April 20, 2022, CEOWorld magazine published an article I wrote on “Negotiating Favorable Executive Equity Terms in an LLC – Capital vs. Profit Interests”

This new article is designed for CEOs, C-level and senior executives, who receive a job offer from a limited liability company where LLC equity will comprise an important component of your executive compensation package.  Most senior executives are familiar with executive stock and stock options, including ISOs and non-qualified option grants offered by corporation employers.  But how do you evaluate equity that is not stock or stock options?   What issues should you be concerned about when your executive equity package is comprised of LLC “member units”, called profits interests or capital interests?  

Continue reading “Negotiating Favorable Executive Equity Terms in an LLC – Capital vs. Profit Interests”

Merits of RSUs vs Stock Options and Other Forms of Executive Equity Compensation

Eight days ago, on Monday March 30, 2022, the executive career advancement website IvyExec published an article I wrote on “Merits of RSUs vs Stock Options and Other Forms of Executive Equity Compensation.”

This new article is designed not only for C-level and senior executives, but even for many directors and mid-level executives. 

My article discusses a less well known form of executive equity RSUs – restricted stock units, including these subjects: 

  • How are RSUs different from the more common forms of executive equity, stock options and restricted stock?
  • In what situations are RSUs an attractive executive equity choice? 
  • In what situations are other choices preferable for the executive?

To see my full IvyExec  article, go to LINK:

https://www.ivyexec.com/career-advice/2022/merits-of-rsus-vs-stock-options-and-other-forms-of-executive-equity-compensation/

 Or my website at

https://www.executiveemploymentattorney.com/merits-of-rsus-vs-stock-options-and-other-forms-of-executive-equity-compensation/

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

IvyExec claims a “Community of 2.5M+ Leaders”.

Tweeting my new IvyExec article on “Merits of RSUs vs Stock Options and Other Forms of Executive Equity Compensation”

If you tweet and would like to tweet my article, here are my four (4)  tweets to retweet or to use in your own tweet –

It is my hope that this article will be of benefit to  C-level, senior and even lower level executives who are now or may in the future be negotiating over equity as part of their executive compensation and are not confident the stock price will rise and might even decline, and would like an alternative form of equity that can retain some value in cases where “underwater” stock options become worthless.

Are You Getting the C-Suite Executive Salary You Deserve?

Several months ago, on January 26, 2022, the career advice website Ivy Exec published under executive “Leadership” an article  I wrote on “Are You Getting the C-Suite Executive Salary You Deserve?

This Jan. 2022 article is designed for designed for CEOs, C-level and senior executives, who are negotiating new job offers where, in my view, the normal metrics a Gartner or Mercer surveys are just not appropriate for the CEO or C-level executive compensation package, and I am called upon to suggest, design and then lead the negotiations for a custom executive compensation package.

My article first suggests three situations well suited to justify development and deployment of a custom executive compensation package:

My article then moves on to discuss that the custom package must not only make up for your loss of pay and benefits to leave your current employer, but even more so, to make up for three further critical intangibles as well, and hence – what should be included on your custom executive compensation package? And how much equity compensation should you ask for? 

The article then concludes with my suggestions for how the executive can achieve company “Buy-in” – how do you sell the custom CEO or C-level executive compensation package to a skeptical employer?  This last part shares there of my best “sales” techniques:

  • You (employer) want and need an “A” team player and one who will attract more A team players to the company.
  • You want alignment and this custom package greatly magnifies alignment, and
  • Success for my executive, even with this full custom package, means vastly greater success to the company’s stockholders, often 10x, 15x and even 20x pay back return for the company’s stockholders, if the CEO or C-level executive succeeds in his or her mission, and costs little or nothing if he or she does not succeed.

To see my full IvyExec  article, go to LINK: https://www.ivyexec.com/career-advice/2021/executive-equity-structure/

 Or on my website at https://www.executiveemploymentattorney.com/are-you-getting-the-c-suite-executive-salary-you-deserve/

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

IvyExec claims a “Community of 2.5M+ Leaders”.

Tweeting My Jan. 2022 IvyExec article on “Are You Getting the C-Suite Executive Salary You Deserve?”

If you tweet and would like to tweet my article, here are my three (3)  tweets to retweet or to use in your own tweet –

It is my hope that this article will be of benefit to C-level and senior executives who are considering job offers in situations where a custom executive compensation package of salary, bonus, and equity is appropriate.  Feel free to tweet or share this article. If you or any colleague of yours has a need in this area, please do reach out to me.