This Change of Control Agreement (the Agreement) is made and entered into by and between ZipRealty, Inc., a Delaware corporation (the Company), and the individual whose name is set forth on the signature page to this Agreement (the Executive).
R E C I T A L S
A. It is expected that the Company from time to time will consider the possibility of an acquisition by another company or other change of control. The Board of Directors of the Company (the Board) recognizes that such consideration can be a distraction to the Executive and can cause the Executive to consider alternative employment opportunities. The Board has determined that it is in the best interests of the Company and its shareholders to assure that the Company will have the continued dedication and objectivity of the Executive, notwithstanding the possibility, threat or occurrence of a Change of Control of the Company.
B. The Board believes that it is in the best interests of the Company and its shareholders to provide the Executive with an incentive to continue his employment and to motivate the Executive to maximize the value of the Company upon a Change of Control for the benefit of its shareholders.
C. Certain capitalized terms used in the Agreement are defined in Section 4 below.
NOW, THEREFORE, for good and valuable consideration, the receipt and sufficiency of which is acknowledged, the parties hereto agree as follows:
1. Term of Agreement. This Agreement shall terminate upon the date that all obligations of the parties hereto with respect to this Agreement have been satisfied.
2. At-Will Employment. The Company and the Executive acknowledge that the Executives employment is and shall continue to be at-will, as defined under applicable law. If the Executives employment terminates for any reason, including (without limitation) any termination prior to a Change of Control, the Executive shall not be entitled to any payments, benefits, damages, awards or compensation other than as provided by this Agreement, or as may otherwise be available in accordance with the Companys established Executive plans and practices or pursuant to other agreements with the Company.
(a) Termination Following A Change of Control. In the event that a Change of Control of the Company occurs and during the period beginning on the closing date of the transaction giving rise to such Change of Control and ending 12 months after such closing date, the Executives employment with the Company (or the successor entity in such Change of Control transaction) is either (a) terminated by the Company (or its successor entity) without Cause or (b) is
Constructively Terminated, then fifty percent (50%) of all unvested Stock Rights as of such date shall become fully vested on the date of such termination.
(b) Termination For Cause. If the Executives employment terminates by reason of the Executives voluntary resignation (and is not a Constructive Termination), or if the Executive is terminated for Cause, then the Executive shall not be entitled to receive the accelerated vesting of Stock Rights set forth in Section 3(a) above.
(c) Termination Apart from Change of Control. In the event the Executives employment is terminated for any reason, either prior to the occurrence of a Change of Control or after the twelve (12)-month period following a Change of Control, then the Executive will be entitled to receive severance and any other benefits only as may then be established under the Companys existing written severance and benefits plans and practices or pursuant to other written agreements with the Company.
4. Definition of Terms. The following terms referred to in this Agreement shall have the following meanings:
(a) Cause. Cause means (i) the Executives failure to perform (other than due to mental or physical disability or death) the duties of Executives position (as they may exist from time to time) to the reasonable satisfaction of the Company (or the successor corporation) after receipt of a written warning and failure to cure any such non-performance within ten business days of receipt of such written warning; (ii) any act of dishonesty taken in connection with the Executives responsibilities as an Executive that is intended to result in such Executives personal enrichment; (iii) the Executives conviction or plea of no contest to a crime that negatively reflects on the Executives fitness to perform Executives duties or harms the Companys (or the successor corporations) reputation or business; (iv) willful misconduct by the Executive that is injurious to the Companys (or the successor corporations) reputation or business; or (v) the Executives willful violation of a material Company employment policy. For purposes of this definition, an act or failure to act will be deemed willful if effected not in good faith or without reasonable belief that such action or failure to act was in the best interests of the Company (or the successor corporation).
(b) Change in Control means the occurrence of any of the following events:
(i) Any person (as such term is used in Sections 13(d) and 14(d) of the Exchange Act) becomes the beneficial owner (as defined in Rule 13d-3 of the Exchange Act), directly or indirectly, of securities of the Company representing fifty percent (50%) or more of the total voting power represented by the Companys then outstanding voting securities; or
(ii) The approval by shareholders of the sale or disposition by the Company of all or substantially all of the Companys assets;
(iii) A change in the composition of the Board occurring within a two-year period, as a result of which fewer than a majority of the directors are Incumbent Directors. Incumbent Directors means directors who either (A) are Directors as of the effective date of the
Plan, or (B) are elected, or nominated for election, to the Board with the affirmative votes of at least a majority of the Incumbent Directors at the time of such election or nomination (but will not include an individual whose election or nomination is in connection with an actual or threatened proxy contest relating to the election of directors to the Company); or
(iv) The approval by shareholders of a merger or consolidation of the Company with any other corporation, other than a merger or consolidation which would result in the voting securities of the Company outstanding immediately prior thereto continuing to represent (either by remaining outstanding or by being converted into voting securities of the surviving entity or its parent) at least fifty percent (50%) of the total voting power represented by the voting securities of the Company or such surviving entity or its parent outstanding immediately after such merger or consolidation.
For purposes of clauses (i) and (iii) above, such Change of Control shall be deemed to have occurred on the date on which the transaction closes; for the purpose of clauses (ii) and (iv) above, such Change of Control shall be deemed to have occurred on the date on which the Companys shareholders approve a transaction described in that clause. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the reincorporation of the Company in Delaware (or any other jurisdiction) shall not constitute a Change of Control for purposes of this Agreement.
(c) Constructive Termination. Constructive Termination shall mean the occurrence of any of the following without the Executives express written consent (i) the assignment to the Executive of any duties or the reduction of the Executives duties, either of which results in a significant diminution in the Executives position or responsibilities in effect immediately prior to such assignment, or the removal of the Executive from such position and responsibilities, provided, however that changes in the circumstances of employment which are solely the result of changes in corporate legal structure resulting directly from the Change of Control shall not constitute a basis for Constructive Termination; (ii) a substantial reduction, without good business reasons, of the facilities and perquisites (including office space and location) available to the Executive immediately prior to such reduction; (iii) a material reduction by the Company in the cash compensation of the Executive as in effect immediately prior to such reduction; (iv) a material reduction by the Company in the kind or level of employee benefits to which the Executive is entitled immediately prior to such reduction with the result that the Executives overall benefits package is significantly reduced; or (v) the relocation of Executives principal place of employment to a facility or a location more than 50 miles from the Executives then present location.
(d) Stock Rights. Stock Rights shall mean all options to acquire shares of Company Common Stock or stock appreciation rights under plans, agreements or arrangements which are compensatory in nature, including, without limitation, the Companys 1999 Stock Plan and 2004 Equity Incentive Plan, and any restricted stock issued by the Company.
(a) Companys Successors. Any successor to the Company (whether direct or indirect and whether by purchase, merger, consolidation, liquidation or otherwise) to all or substantially all of the Companys business and/or assets shall assume the obligations under this Agreement and agree expressly to perform the obligations under this Agreement in the same manner and to the same extent as the Company would be required to perform such obligations in the absence of a succession. For all purposes under this Agreement, the term Company shall include any successor to the Companys business and/or assets which executes and delivers the assumption agreement described in this Section 5(a) or which becomes bound by the terms of this Agreement by operation of law.
(b) Executives Successors. The terms of this Agreement and all rights of the Executive hereunder shall inure to the benefit of, and be enforceable by, the Executives personal or legal representatives, executors, administrators, successors, heirs, distributees, devisees and legatees.
(a) General. Notices and all other communications contemplated by this Agreement shall be in writing and shall be deemed to have been duly given when personally delivered or when mailed by U.S. registered or certified mail, return receipt requested and postage prepaid. In the case of the Executive, mailed notices shall be addressed to the Executive at his or her home address most recently communicated to the Company in writing. In the case of the Company, mailed notices shall be addressed to its corporate headquarters, and all notices shall be directed to the attention of its Secretary.
(b) Notice of Termination. Any termination by the Company for Cause or by the Executive as a result of a voluntary resignation or a Constructive Termination shall be communicated by a notice of termination to the other party hereto given in accordance with Section 6(a) of this Agreement. Such notice shall indicate the specific termination provision in this Agreement relied upon, shall set forth in reasonable detail the facts and circumstances claimed to provide a basis for termination under the provision so indicated, and shall specify the termination date (which shall be not more than 30 days after the giving of such notice). The failure by the Executive to include in the notice any fact or circumstance which contributes to a showing of Constructive Termination shall not waive any right of the Executive hereunder or preclude the Executive from asserting such fact or circumstance in enforcing Executives rights hereunder.
7. Miscellaneous Provisions.
(a) No Duty to Mitigate. The Executive shall not be required to mitigate the amount of any payment contemplated by this Agreement, nor shall any such payment be reduced by any earnings that the Executive may receive from any other source.
(b) Waiver. No provision of this Agreement shall be modified, waived or discharged unless the modification, waiver or discharge is agreed to in writing and signed by the Executive and by an authorized officer of the Company (other than the Executive). No waiver by
either party of any breach of, or of compliance with, any condition or provision of this Agreement by the other party shall be considered a waiver of any other condition or provision or of the same condition or provision at another time.
(c) Headings. All captions and section headings used in this Agreement are for convenient reference only and do not form a part of this Agreement.
(d) Whole Agreement. No agreements, representations or understandings (whether oral or written and whether express or implied) which are not expressly set forth in this Agreement have been made or entered into by either party with respect to the subject matter hereof. This Agreement represents the entire understanding of the parties hereto with respect to the subject matter hereof and supersedes all prior arrangements and understandings regarding the same, including, if applicable, any prior Change of Control Agreement entered into by and between the Company and the Executive which shall be superseded by this Agreement notwithstanding Section 7(d) of such agreement. No future agreements between the Company and the Executive may supersede this Agreement, unless they are in writing and specifically mention this Section 7(d).
(e) Choice of Law. The validity, interpretation, construction and performance of this Agreement shall be governed by the laws of the State of California (with the exception of its conflict of laws provisions).
(f) Severability. The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision or provisions of this Agreement shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision hereof, which shall remain in full force and effect.
(g) Counterparts. This Agreement may be executed in counterparts, each of which shall be deemed an original, but all of which together will constitute one and the same instrument.
* * *
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, each of the parties has executed this Change in Control Agreement, in the case of the Company by its duly authorized officer, as of the day and year set forth below.