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What can you expect from your executive employment contract?

On Behalf of | Mar 19, 2024 | Employment Contracts |

Congratulations! You’ve landed your first high-level executive position. Stepping into this exciting new role comes with significant responsibilities, and a key element of better securing your success is understanding your executive employment contract.

This legally binding document outlines the expectations and obligations between you and the company, serving as a roadmap for your tenure. While every contract is unique, there are some common elements you can expect to find in an executive employment contract.

Job definition and responsibilities

Every employment contract should clearly define an employee’s official title, and your executive contract shouldn’t be an exception. Your contract should also outline who you report to within the organization and any teams or departments under your leadership. You can also expect a comprehensive rundown of the specific duties and responsibilities expected of you in your role. It may encompass strategic planning, budget management, team leadership and achieving specific performance goals.

Compensation and benefits

Since an executive position is a higher level of employment, you are likely eligible for bonuses or commissions. Therefore, you can expect your contract to detail how these are calculated and paid out. Your contract should also outline the comprehensive benefits package you’re entitled to, including healthcare, retirement plans, paid time off and other perks. Moreover, depending on the company and your position, you may be offered stock options or other forms of equity incentives, which can significantly impact your long-term financial rewards.

Term and termination

As a first-time executive employee, you should find out whether your position is for a fixed term (e.g., two years) or on an at-will basis, meaning either party can terminate the employment without cause. Furthermore, it would help if you went through the termination clause to find out the conditions under which the company can terminate your employment. It may include situations like:

  • Misconduct
  • Performance issues
  • Violation of company policies

Additionally, the contract should detail severance pay and other benefits you may be entitled to in the event of termination.

By taking the time to understand your executive employment contract, you can more effectively safeguard your interests, navigate your new role with clarity and pave the way for a successful and rewarding career journey. Should you have any concerns about any provisions in the contract, an experienced legal team can explain its ins and outs. Given how much is at stake, having a legal team review the terms of your contract before you sign it is generally wise.


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