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Should successful executives renegotiate employment contracts?

There usually comes a time in the career of successful first-time executives when they realize they give more than they receive. When executives take on their first term as a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or another C-level position, their employment contracts probably reflect their relative inexperience. Now that they have achieved success and helped the company thrive, they may wish to renegotiate the terms of their employment.

Although it feels risky to "rock the boat," renegotiating employment contracts after a period of success is a common practice. The governing board may even expect it if the executive has led the company into an era of significant prosperity. If this scenario resembles your own experience, you may wish to renegotiate but remain hesitant to take the first steps.

One way to explore the possibility of renegotiating your contract safely is to speak with an employment law attorney. Together, you can take an objective look at what you have given to your company compared with the rewards you have received in return. An added benefit of assistance involves helping you determine if the board will be receptive to renegotiation.

The following section offers some insight into why boards often agree to renegotiate employment contracts.

  • Fear of losing a valuable executive
  • Fear that a replacement executive may not work out
  • Fear of disrupting a successful team
  • Fear that the company will lose its successful momentum

Taking risks is sometimes part of working in high-level Detroit companies. However, you can mitigate this risk by thinking carefully about your work situation and seeking legal advice from someone familiar with employment contracts. In the end, you deserve to share in the rewards your success has brought to your employers.

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