I’m looking for some data points from startup folks who were key employees in an acquisition (think director level and above, but not necessarily C*O).
How were you treated during an acquisition? Specifically, beside the payout of the equity you had, did you receive other incentives/retention bonuses to stay along with the new offer? Or pretty much the equity payout was the only tangible outcome?
- Salesforce GQch66I was a key employee (VP Engineering) of a small startup during acquisition. Due to liquidation preferences, etc. equity payout was $0. I did receive a very low 7 figure package at the time that was 65% equity in the acquiring company (stock doubled within 18 months, yay) and 35% cash (escrowed with 50/35/15% payouts at 0, 6, and 18 months). Other key employees got similar deals.
- Facebook public2Varies wildly, was the acquisition for ip or people? Are you in finance (redudant) or tech. During integration new companies usually identifies who they want to keep and handcuffs them. If really large your equity is locked for 2 to 6 years anyway though.
- Tech acquisition, so let’s say acquisition is for ip and customer base, and clearly also the tech leadership team (my role) since they are the only ones being able to drive forward the tech product, at least for a while.
My question was: if I stand to make ~3M from an acquisition purely based on my vested and exercised common stocks at the current company valuation, would it be wise to just leave now and take that equity with me, or should I stay since I’m a key employee (on the tech side, so very involved with the core) and so the acquiring company could throw a lot more gold at me, on top of paying my vested and exercised equity?
It’s essentially a time cost opportunity. I would love to go at FAANG but an acquisition here could happen in 1-2 years (or earlier) and I wouldn’t want to miss out on capitalize on the key employee “status” I gained inside the company. FAANG is not paying me as much as I am vesting on paper here every month, but I think I could grow much more quickly over there and ultimately catch up and with a better pedigree.Mar 70