ESOP trap: employee loss of hundreds of thousands of euros

Sieht ein ESOP-Vertrag sogenanntes „Devesting“ vor, kann das für verdiente Mitarbeiter nach ihrer Kündigung schwerwiegende Folgen haben.

If an ESOP contract provides for a so-called “disinvestment”, it can have serious consequences for qualified employees after their termination.
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Working in a startup – Many people probably associate this with low pay and working conditions with free coffee and full fruit baskets that could at least be improved. What is this picture about? In anonymous testimonials Gründerszene editors let employees and founders of young companies speak. They are entered by changing the authors.

Actually I did everything right. A few years ago, a former colleague drew my attention to a startup in Berlin that was still unknown at the time. There was no special situation for me, but he said that he was always looking for good people. It suited me. I was looking for a new professional challenge anyway.

Shares were rapidly worth many times over

Then the talks went on without any problems. I was offered a gross salary of 50,000 euros, on top of which participation was in the form of share options. first experience like this ESOP Program I already did it at my previous employer. However, I haven’t explained it in detail till then. The terms of the new share package seemed reasonable to me: after vesting period of one year (“cliff”) I should be credited with more shares in the startup every month (“Westing“). After the four-year term, my stock options should be fully vested. In the event of an exit – for example by selling the company – I would have benefited financially from the increase in value.


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