How One Man Negotiated A $40 Million Mass Severance Bundle


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Though it’s a bummer to listen to about extra layoffs, I additionally really feel a variety of hope and pleasure for individuals who have misplaced their jobs for 2 causes.

First, there’s the advantage of getting a severance package deal. Think about getting a severance package deal price six months of wage after which discovering a brand new job two months later for comparable pay. In the event you do, you’ll have had two months off after which get to earn double pay for 4 months!

Second, the sting of getting laid off may lastly propel of us to take a leap of religion and begin their very own enterprise, return to highschool, or enter a brand new discipline of labor. Compelled change is usually a enormous blessing!

Studying to adapt to an uncomfortable scenario will solely make you stronger. Getting laid off may very well be probably the greatest issues that might ever occur to you. I do know it was for me.

Patiently Ready To Inform You About The Mass Severance Bundle Negotiation Story

After sending out one in all my weekly newsletters, I obtained an e-mail response from a reader. He talked about he was laid off from his Huge Tech Co. Nevertheless, he additionally shared a severance package deal negotiation success story I had by no means heard of earlier than.

I’ve truly been sitting on this story since early 2020 to guard the reader. He agreed to let me instantly share his severance package deal negotiation story if I didn’t share the place he labored and his final identify.

Nevertheless, as somebody who negotiated my very own severance again in 2012, issues can get dicey when deferred compensation is concerned. Till all of the severance package deal cash hits your checking account, you’re nonetheless at your earlier employer’s mercy.

Even after you obtain all of your severance cash, it’s finest to remain quiet for some time. In the event you do one thing to jeopardize the repute of the agency, the agency may attempt to get that severance package deal a refund!

The $40 Million Mass Severance Bundle Negotiation

Right here’s the e-mail from a Monetary Samurai e-newsletter subscriber.

Hey Sam,

Thanks for the e-newsletter and severance negotiation guide. I purchased it with a plan to make use of it to engineer my layoff within the subsequent yr, however issues modified. Sadly, I used to be laid off at Huge Corp earlier than I may begin negotiating a severance.

Though this was unhealthy timing, I did use the boldness and a few refined methods in your guide to get a much bigger payout for Restricted Inventory Models (RSUs), which I might have missed out on by a few month.  

If you wish to hear the story however promise to not use my final identify or firm, I’ll inform ya the story.  

I used to be initially going to strive negotiating getting my RSUs paid out only for myself. Ultimately, I ended up campaigning to get the RSUs paid out for the two,000 of us that have been let go! 

The common worth of the RSUs was $20,000 per individual, so this was a $40 million ask. And I obtained it for everybody. Thanks!!!



Holy crap!

We all know the biggest severance package deal ever was by the ex-founder and CEO of WeWork who walked away with about $1 billion. However that’s a particular case as a result of the man was the founder and was in a position to make the most of SoftBank’s foolish cash.

Till Bob’s e-mail, I had by no means heard of or thought concerning the technique of negotiating a greater severance package deal for different colleagues as effectively.

Subsequently, I requested Bob to elaborate how this $40 million severance negotiation occurred. Right here’s his rationalization.

How One Man Negotiated A $40 Million Severance Bundle For two,000 Colleagues

I labored at Huge Corp for the final six years doing software program. I used to be solely staying for the cash and advantages till my daughter was in faculty.  

A brand new VP was employed to move all of software program. As is normally the case with a brand new Kahuna, heads have been going to roll. My group’s boss and different bosses immediately began ‘retiring’ with out warning. They every gave 1-week notices.

In large company gamesmanship, this actually meant {that a} new larger fish had are available, fires those that aren’t behind his new technique, and places in his personal folks from earlier corporations.  

I knew the writing was on the wall. I started scheming my very own exit for a while when Huge Corp introduced that our entire group and others could be reduce – about 2000 folks.

Blasted! They beat me to it!

New CEO, New Imaginative and prescient

Now on the similar time this was taking place, we had a brand new CEO who was very clear. He wished to get the tradition aligned with him. We even had an enormous HR marketing campaign about fact and transparency within the office.  

The brand new CEO had all-hands conferences with all the staff however failed to say these layoffs in any respect. One other subtext is that Huge Corp is old-fashioned and has a very fear-based tradition. Everybody thinks they’ll get reduce on a regular basis. It’s actually a weird and unusual place.

Like I mentioned earlier, I remained at my job for the cash – banking and saving 65% of my take-home pay.

So Huge Corp ultimately introduced that we’d all be laid off and pay a good severance. We even had just a few weeks’ discover as a way to attempt to discover one other inner job earlier than our precise final day. That actually by no means occurs. It’s only a widespread courtesy gesture to reduce blowback.

The Quest To Get Workers Their Restricted Inventory Models

Every little thing about my severance was acceptable, besides that my final day was 4 weeks earlier than our subsequent spherical of RSUs vested. This is able to suck as a result of it was appreciable – about $24,000 to me.

Plus the previous few years Huge Corp had begun to provide extra RSUs as an alternative of money raises – so this was deferred wage in a approach.

I requested HR concerning the RSUs and advised them properly that it wasn’t honest. As anticipated they mentioned, “robust shit, unhealthy timing” in essence. Hmmmmmm.  Properly, that does suck.

Negotiating A Severance Immediately With The CEO

So with the methods out of your guide and the boldness that it gave me, I made a decision to pitch my concept on to the CEO. On the finish of the day, he was the one one who may make the decision.

I wrote the CEO an electronic mail telling him that the layoff timing was horrible and that we deserved these RSUs for these causes:

1) We have been only a few weeks away from getting them. Is that this who ‘we’ are as an organization?  (angle = not honest)

2) Many people got these as a alternative for larger deserved raises in the previous few years.  (angle = this was our cash already)

3) The corporate has simply had the most effective monetary yr and quarter within the firm’s historical past. Those being laid-off helped us ALL get there. (angle = we’re getting laid off however helped you get an enormous bonus as CEO)

Then I advised the CEO that I used to be sending the message on to him as a result of he may get the job achieved and that I appreciated the tradition of fact and transparency – and ended it with “In Solidarity.” Heh  😀

All these items have been meant to be arguments that you could’t actually argue with as not true. To counteract my factors, all he’d must do was say ’robust shit dude’.  

Energy In Numbers By Organizing

Anyway, I despatched him the e-mail and I heard nothing again for 2 weeks. Then I started to gather a listing of all laid-off workers and wrote them an electronic mail attempting to get all of us to signal a marketing campaign to provide us the RSUs. Strategically, I didn’t ship out the e-mail as a result of I knew they have been watching me. I simply wished to have them observe my intent.  

My grasp plan was to have all 2,000 workers electronic mail the CEO and head of HR on the similar time. I actually simply wished them to sweat.

Then out of the blue, we obtained an electronic mail from HR saying that as a one-time change to coverage, we’d be given the money equal of our 2020 RSUs upon leaving.  

This was stunning to me since with 2000 workers and a mean of $20,000 RSUs every, this was a $40 million marketing campaign that labored!

The Change Of Coronary heart

So I by no means obtained a response from the CEO, however I wrote him an electronic mail thanking him for the RSUs. He lastly did reply and mentioned that I used to be welcome and thanked me for the earlier electronic mail.  

I spoke with HR earlier than leaving and requested them concerning the change of coronary heart and all they mentioned was that it got here from the very prime. Uh huh. Yeah OK.

The timing was additionally vital. We have been advised we have been getting laid off two weeks earlier than the COVID-19 shutdown. I’m certain that had I waited even two weeks to marketing campaign for our RSUs, the reply would have been, completely no friggin’ approach.  

The marketing campaign labored and the general public who benefited by no means even knew what I did to assist them out. Good karma I hope!

A Lesson In Asking For What You Deserve

Bob’s story about negotiating a mass severance package deal is unbelievable. It reveals him:

  • Being strategic and resourceful by studying How To Engineer Your Layoff. You could find something you need on the web if you happen to look. Use the code “saveten” to avoid wasting $10. Or buy 6 onerous copies of Purchase This, Not That and I’ll ship you a free copy of HTEYL.
  • Having the braveness to ask for what he thinks he deserves. He may have simply simply accepted his severance package deal, just like the overwhelming majority of individuals do.
  • Demonstrating sufficient emotional intelligence to correspond with HR and the CEO in a respectful method. It’s simple to go on the offensive and get emotionally charged if you really feel disrespected.
  • Skillfully crafting an unassailable argument if proven to the general public. Bob knew from studying Monetary Samurai, one of many the reason why negotiating a severance is feasible is because of absolute reputational destruction.
  • Understanding the facility of group and the energy in numbers. He knew he may get a variety of different folks on his aspect.

Studying the right way to negotiate effectively is without doubt one of the most vital abilities in life. A negotiation is concerned in every thing vital – from getting a promotion to getting your youngsters to go to mattress in an affordable method.

Be taught to empathize with different folks by understanding the place they’re coming from. Empathy includes making folks really feel heard, seen, understood, and cherished. In the event you do, you’ll get a lot farther than you ever thought doable!

Reader Questions And Options

Have you ever heard of 1 individual negotiating a mass severance package deal earlier than? In the event you’ve been lately laid off, what was the expertise like? How large of a severance package deal did you get?

For extra nuanced private finance content material, be part of 55,000+ others and join the free Monetary Samurai e-newsletter and posts through e-mail. Monetary Samurai is without doubt one of the largest independently-owned private finance websites that began in 2009. 



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