How One Man Negotiated A $40 Million Mass Severance Bundle


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

First, there may be the good thing about getting a severance package deal. Think about getting a severance package deal value six months of wage after which discovering a brand new job two months later for related pay. Should 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 would possibly lastly propel people to take a leap of religion and begin their very own enterprise, return to highschool, or enter a brand new subject of labor. Compelled change could be a large blessing!

Studying to adapt to an uncomfortable state of affairs will solely make you stronger. Getting laid off could possibly 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 every of my weekly newsletters, I received an e-mail response from a reader. He talked about he was laid off from his Massive Tech Co. Nonetheless, 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.

Nonetheless, 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 greatest to remain quiet for some time. Should you do one thing to jeopardize the fame 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 ebook. I purchased it with a plan to make use of it to engineer my layoff within the subsequent 12 months, however issues modified. Sadly, I used to be laid off at Massive 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 ebook to get an even bigger payout for Restricted Inventory Models (RSUs), which I might have missed out on by a couple of 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 attempt 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 particular person, so this was a $40 million ask. And I received it for everybody. Thanks!!!



Holy crap!

We all know the largest 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 reap the benefits 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 nicely.

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 Massive 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 school.  

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 all of the sudden began ‘retiring’ with out warning. They every gave 1-week notices.

In massive 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 Massive Corp introduced that our entire group and others could be minimize – about 2000 folks.

Blasted! They beat me to it!

New CEO, New Imaginative and prescient

Now on the identical 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 a giant HR marketing campaign about reality and transparency within the office.  

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

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

So Massive Corp finally introduced that we’d all be laid off and pay an honest severance. We even had just a few weeks’ discover in an effort 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 thing about my severance was acceptable, besides that my final day was 4 weeks earlier than our subsequent spherical of RSUs vested. This could suck as a result of it was appreciable – about $24,000 to me.

Plus the previous few years Massive Corp had begun to offer extra RSUs as a substitute of money raises – so this was deferred wage in a means.

I requested HR concerning the RSUs and informed them properly that it wasn’t truthful. As anticipated they stated, “robust shit, unhealthy timing” in essence. Hmmmmmm.  Effectively, that does suck.

Negotiating A Severance Straight With The CEO

So with the methods out of your ebook 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 e 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 truthful)

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 12 months 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 informed the CEO that I used to be sending the message on to him as a result of he may get the job executed and that I appreciated the tradition of reality 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 need to 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 staff and wrote them an e mail attempting to get all of us to signal a marketing campaign to offer 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 staff e mail the CEO and head of HR on the identical time. I actually simply wished them to sweat.

Then out of the blue, we received an e 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 staff 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 received a response from the CEO, however I wrote him an e mail thanking him for the RSUs. He lastly did reply and stated that I used to be welcome and thanked me for the earlier e mail.  

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

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

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 will discover something you need on the web in case you look. Use the code “saveten” to avoid wasting $10. Or buy 6 arduous 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 straightforward 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 power in numbers. He knew he may get quite a lot of different folks on his facet.

Studying tips on how to negotiate nicely is among the most necessary expertise in life. A negotiation is concerned in every little thing necessary – from getting a promotion to getting your youngsters to go to mattress in an inexpensive method.

Study to empathize with different folks by understanding the place they’re coming from. Empathy entails making folks really feel heard, seen, understood, and cherished. Should you do, you’re going to get a lot farther than you ever thought potential!

Reader Questions And Ideas

Have you ever heard of 1 particular person negotiating a mass severance package deal earlier than? Should you’ve been not too long ago laid off, what was the expertise like? How massive 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 among the largest independently-owned private finance websites that began in 2009. 


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