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Etsy Tweaks Golden Parachutes for Top Executives

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Etsy’s Board of Directors amended its executive severance plan, which outline what a top executive receives when terminated, aka “golden parachutes” or “golden handshakes.” The new terms of the plan take effect on January 1, 2019.

According to the filing with the SEC on Monday, the Board’s Compensation Committee approved the amended plan on December 14th, “primarily to provide pro rata cash bonus payments to all participants, other than Etsy’s Chief Executive Officer.”

The committee, which decides which executives can participate in the severance plan, also extended the period during which participants receive continued salary payments and healthcare continuation coverage upon a “qualifying termination other than in connection with a change in control.”

Unlike regular employees, senior executives generally qualify for continued salary and healthcare benefits for an extended period of time after leaving a company. In Etsy’s case, that is 12 months for participants.

The new plan noted that the current salary and healthcare continuation periods will remain unchanged for Etsy’s CEO and Chief Financial Officer.

In September, Etsy announced that Chief Operating Officer Linda Kozlowski would depart by the end of this year. Included as part of her severance agreement: she’ll continue to earn a salary for six months after her departure (her base salary is $350,000) and will be reimbursed for COBRA health insurance premiums for six months. She’ll also receive $262,500 within 60 days of her departure.

We had taken a look at Etsy’s golden parachute provisions in 2015, which you can read here.

Corporate boards generally justify such compensation plans by claiming it helps them attract and retain top talent.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.

3 thoughts on “Etsy Tweaks Golden Parachutes for Top Executives”

  1. Funny, this almost sounds like a response to the question of should Ebay sell Stub Hub and buy Etsy. It does sound more and more like they are anticipating being bought out for one reason or another and my guess would be that they are having major cash flow issues based on all of the problems Sellers have been having getting their money from them lately.

    This now protects senior management so they do not all bail and leave Etsy sitting in really bad shape so that nobody will buy them due to having no infrastructure due to all the big guys leaving. Now it really sounds like something Ebay would buy and deal with as the shareholders would once again get nothing for their money as Ebay would just let management go thinking they know more than the Etsy management could possibly know and all the Sellers would leave as well. So Ebay would, as they do with Wenig, get nothing for their money.

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