Dealing with golden handcuffs ($1.5M)

Microsoft BonsaiBoss
Aug 22 53 Comments

Guys, I am applying to FAANG but don’t want to waste my time. I have about $1.5M worth of unvested stocks at Microsoft. I am wondering if any of the FAANG companies won’t be able to compensate this loss as equity or by some other means. I am targetting Google L6/L7, Facebook E7, Amazon L7 and very likely would not accept anything below.

Any tips dealing with my golden handcuffs would be appreciated!

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TOP 53 Comments
  • Amazon Oathinlay2
    Bring this up at the very beginning with your recruiter. That will tell you if it’s worth the time.
    Aug 22 2
    • Microsoft BonsaiBoss
      OP
      I don’t want to give them numbers in advance because that would lead to sure low balling from everyone!
      Aug 22
    • Amazon Oathinlay2
      Tell them you make x right now and are not looking to move without more than x. Looking for even more is hard but transferring your golden handcuffs is possible.
      Aug 22
  • Amazon / Eng Chad🕶
    How long does that take to completely vest?
    Aug 22 6
    • LinkedIn billz
      $1.5M / 4 years = $375k equity per year.
      That's very different than, say, $1.5M / 2 years = $750k/year.

      Yes, there are definitely top tier companies that can match your equity at L7.
      Aug 22
    • Splunk tgrmqw
      Aggregated RSU will not translate into an equal distribution. In addition, every year there will be refresh. Your calculations I guess are completely off base.

      OP can clarify.
      Aug 22
    • LinkedIn billz
      Microsoft equity grants vest over 5 years. So if each of the next 4 years OP will vest a different amount of equity, it's not clear which year should be compared to a competing offer.

      If you want to compare the average over the next 4 years (assuming no more Microsoft refreshes) that's my calculation above.
      Aug 22
    • Splunk tgrmqw
      No equity refresher? I am pretty sure it will be higher than what you are calculating.

      I heard Linkedln does not do refreshers for everyone. Is that true? I am not sure about Microsoft policy.
      Aug 22
    • LinkedIn billz
      Any given cycle, LinkedIn gives some refreshers and some not. It depends primarily on performance, but also on current comp relative to your level's band, etc.
      Aug 23
  • Facebook unixphil
    No company will give that to you as a sign-on bonus. It would be your equity grant. I'm not going to tell you the equity grant range but you just need to think about this, the companies know the pay scales of the other big players and at equivalent levels everything is obviously going to roughly match up. They know a lot more about the market pay rates than you and they are not going to waste their time either.
    Aug 22 5
    • Microsoft BonsaiBoss
      OP
      Anyone who has spent E7 equivalent for few years would accumulate similar level of unvested stock. If you say that no one compensates for this level of unvested stock then it only means one of two things (1) these people must lose money in order to switch companies, (2) your statement is false.

      I would love some more data!
      Aug 22
    • Facebook unixphil
      You asked in your question if you could get it as sign on bonus.. I said no. Of course you can get it as equity.
      Aug 22
    • Microsoft BonsaiBoss
      OP
      ...which is fine too as long as it vests in same number of years.
      Aug 22
    • Facebook unixphil
      They vest over 4 years. Each company has a different schedule and some weight it heavier towards the end of the 4 years.. eg Amazon I think do 5,15,40,40% which sucks.
      Aug 22
    • Facebook unixphil
      Fb and Google vest 1/16 each quarter.
      Aug 22
  • Quicken Loans / Eng the original persimmon
    not FAANG but you could try LinkedIn, they allow you to keep your unvested stock when you transfer, I believe
    Aug 22 7
    • LinkedIn ugjM43
      He doesn’t need L7. He just needs to transfer to any role that he’s interested in. LI honors MSFT existing stock at transfer.
      Aug 22
    • Microsoft BonsaiBoss
      OP
      You mean it’s also a level transfer (i.e. TC remains same)?
      Aug 22
    • LinkedIn ugjM43
      Yup. If you can find a correctly scoped role then you can switch without losing stock. They might even grant you more stock if it’s a high demand team or project.
      Aug 22
    • LinkedIn ugjM43
      And if you take a lower role I think it still transfers
      Aug 22
    • LinkedIn billz
      I'm not aware of this transfer policy. But my point is he might get a better offer from LinkedIn as an external candidate anyway.
      He said he's already L7 above.
      Aug 22
  • Facebook public2
    Rofl, 1.5m isn't golden handcuffs. 1.5 a year wouldn't even qualify. Is this real?
    Aug 22 2
    • NVIDIA borf
      Says some exec at Facebook draining kids brains of any and all value
      Aug 23
    • Facebook public2
      You lost me on that one. The point here is that normal comp isn't what golden handcuffs refer to.
      Aug 23
  • Oscar
    🐨koala

    Oscar

    BIO
    I am a Koala. DM me if you want to cuddle.
    🐨koalamore
    Why do you want to leave?
    Aug 22 1
    • Microsoft BonsaiBoss
      OP
      Projects are becoming very boring at where I am. Given lack of challenges means management has no appreciation.
      Aug 22
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • Microsoft BonsaiBoss
      OP
      No, I just need same unvested stock schedule at new employer. I don’t think this is unreasonable for anyone to ask. We are people selling our time and talent. Why should we lose money?
      Aug 22
    • Salesforce gPte64
      You stay at Pure Storage as well.
      Aug 22
    • Salesforce gPte64
      ^^ you sound salty. Feeling jealous of OP?
      Aug 23
    • Microsoft /More/$$$$
      Why does “pure storage” sound salty lmaooo you can get it too mr tainted storage lol
      Aug 23
    • Salesforce barnacles
      “Tainted storage” 🤣
      Aug 23
  • Amazon / Eng AMZNBucks
    If they can't beat your current comp, then why not just transfer internally to a better team? And how many YOE do you have, impressive to see Microsoft go that high in comp
    Aug 22 1
    • Microsoft BonsaiBoss
      OP
      Microsoft has magically decided not to be a player in all of the areas I am most interested in :).
      Aug 22
  • Facebook AyyoLeMayo
    So you want them to compensate you by giving you it in cash ON TOP OF the usual stock grant??
    E7 at FB already gets 1M+ stock grants
    Aug 22 3
    • Facebook / Eng QGhE38
      Upper E6s could even break 1M
      Aug 22
    • Microsoft BonsaiBoss
      OP
      This is another thing I am wondering. Do they usually? In worst case, if they might say your stock grant already compensates for unvested stock then a major issue is that cost of housing difference (approx $1M) which it was supposed to cover originally now is off the table. That would be tough choice to make but I want to understand what are the usual norms here for golden handcuffs.
      Aug 22
    • Facebook / Eng QGhE38
      Just go to Seattle office. Problem solved
      Aug 22
  • Twitch noninja
    SDE? SDM?
    Aug 22 2
    • Amazon newAz
      It should be a director level
      Aug 22
    • Microsoft BonsaiBoss
      OP
      SDE and want to pursue IC engineering role at FAANG although I have managed teams
      Aug 22
  • Lyft !lyft
    Google and FB E7 should be able to match but Amazon L7 no.

    FB E7 I have heard is very hard for a new hire.

    Google E7 or E7.5 should grant $2M stocks. Although Google requires a competing offer and doesn't compete with current pay unless you have competing offer.
    Aug 23 1
    • Amazon CulStryBro
      Not true. Google and Amazon L7 bands both top out at 700-750k TC in the Bay Area. That is around 2.8-3.2M in comp over 4 years. How does that not make him whole for his 1.5M in invested stock? The comp mix is a bit different at Amazon since stock mostly hits in last 2 years but dollar values are similar.
      Aug 23
  • Cisco bjhjjk
    MoVe or rust
    Aug 22 1
    • NVIDIA borf
      Just like WebEx
      Aug 23
  • Oracle / Mgmt aiabc
    What’s your TC ?
    Aug 22 1
  • AT&T MsdR32
    Change org/role/location, but stay in MSFT
    Aug 23 0
  • Booking.com
    Баба Яга

    Booking.com

    BIO
    🤬🤪🥴🥺🤫😜🤦‍♂️
    Баба Ягаmore
    Which faang can offer 1.5M RSU for joining? I'm curious. Is that above director level?
    Aug 22 0
  • NVIDIA borf
    Yes interview and get an offer, tell them your stock bank and let them work some numbers.

    Probably won't be the same but they can make it up with cash bonuses, base and still make your a nice TC.
    Aug 22 0