2005 OWNERSHIP INCENTIVE PLAN
The purpose of the Arkansas Best Corporation 2005 Ownership Incentive Plan (the “Plan”) is to advance the interests of the Arkansas Best Corporation (the “Company”) by stimulating the efforts of employees, officers and directors, in each case who are selected to be participants, by heightening the desire of such persons to continue in working toward and contributing to the success and progress of the Company. The Plan supersedes the Company’s 2002 Stock Option Plan and Nonqualified Stock Option Plan with respect to future awards, and provides for the grant of Incentive and Nonqualified Stock Options, Stock Appreciation Rights, Restricted Stock and Restricted Stock Units, any of which may be performance-based, and for Performance Award Units, which may be paid in cash or stock or a combination thereof, as determined by the Committee.
As used in the Plan, the following terms will have the meanings set forth below:
(a) “Award” means an Incentive Stock Option, Nonqualified Stock Option, Stock Appreciation Right, Restricted Stock, Restricted Stock Unit or Performance Award Unit granted to a Participant pursuant to the provisions of the Plan, any of which the Committee may structure to qualify in whole or in part as “performance-based compensation” under Section 162(m) of the Code.
(b) “Award Agreement” means a written agreement or other instrument as approved from time to time by the Committee implementing the grant of each Award. An Agreement may be in the form of an agreement to be executed by both the Participant and the Company (or an authorized representative of the Company) or certificates, notices or similar instruments as approved by the Committee.
(c) “Board” means the Board of Directors of the Company.
(d) “Change in Control” means, unless the Committee or the Board provides otherwise, the occurrence of any of the following events:
(i) The acquisition by any individual, entity or group (within the meaning of Section 13(d) or 14(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”)) (a “Person”) of beneficial ownership (within the meaning of Rule 13d-3 promulgated under the Exchange Act) of 35% or more of either (i) the then outstanding Shares (the “Outstanding Company Common Stock”) or (ii) the combined voting power of the then outstanding voting securities of the Company entitled to vote generally in the election of directors (the “Outstanding Company Voting Securities”); provided, however, that for purposes of this subsection (i), the following acquisitions will not constitute a Change in Control: (A) any acquisition directly from the Company, (B) any acquisition by the Company, (C) any acquisition by any employee benefit plan (or related trust) sponsored or maintained by the Company or any corporation controlled by the Company or (D) any acquisition by any corporation pursuant to a transaction that constitutes a Merger of Equals as defined in subsection (iii) of this Section 2(d).
(ii) In any 12-month period, the individuals who, as of the beginning of the 12-month period, constitute the Board (the “Incumbent Board”) cease for any reason to constitute at least a majority of the Board of Directors; provided, however, that any individual becoming a director subsequent to the Effective Date whose election, or nomination for election by the Company’s shareholders, was approved by a vote of at least a majority of the directors then comprising the Incumbent Board will be considered as though such individual were a member of the Incumbent Board, but excluding, for this purpose, any such individual whose initial assumption of office occurs as a result of an actual or threatened election contest with respect to the election or removal of directors or other actual or threatened solicitation of proxies or consents by or on behalf of a Person other than the Board of Directors.
(iii) Consummation of a reorganization, merger, statutory share exchange or consolidation or similar corporate transaction involving the Company or any of its subsidiaries (each, a “Business Combination”), in each case, unless such Business Combination constitutes a Merger of Equals. A Business Combination will constitute a “Merger of Equals” if, following such Business Combination, (A) all or substantially all of the individuals and entities that were the beneficial owners, respectively, of the Outstanding Company Common Stock and Outstanding
Company Voting Securities immediately prior to such Business Combination beneficially own, directly or indirectly, more than 50% of, respectively, the then outstanding shares of common stock and the combined voting power of the then outstanding voting securities entitled to vote generally in the election of directors, as the case may be, of the corporation resulting from such Business Combination (including, without limitation, a corporation which as a result of such transaction owns the Company or all or substantially all of the Company’s assets either directly or through one or more subsidiaries) (the “Resulting Corporation”) in substantially the same proportions as their ownership, immediately prior to such Business Combination of the Outstanding Company Common Stock and Outstanding Company Voting Securities, as the case may be, (B) no Person (excluding the Resulting Corporation and its affiliates or any employee benefit plan (or related trust) of the Resulting Corporation and its affiliates) beneficially owns, directly or indirectly, 35% or more of, respectively, the then-outstanding shares of common stock of the Resulting Corporation or the combined voting power of the then outstanding voting securities of the Resulting Corporation except to the extent that such ownership existed with respect to the Company prior to the Business Combination, and (C) at least a majority of the members of the board of directors of the Resulting Corporation (the “Resulting Board”) were members of the Incumbent Board at the time of the execution of the initial agreement, or of the action of the Board of Directors, providing for such Business Combination; or
(iv) The sale or other disposition of all or substantially all of the assets of the Company to any Person, other than a transfer to (A) any corporation or other Person of which a majority of its voting power or its voting equity securities or equity interest is owned, directly or indirectly, by the Company or (B) any corporation pursuant to a transaction that constitutes a Merger of Equals as defined in subsection (iii) of this Section 2(d).
(v) A complete liquidation or dissolution of the Company.
Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, in no event shall amounts in respect of Awards that, as determined by the Committee in its sole discretion, provide for the deferral of compensation, be distributed upon a Change in Control prior to the occurrence of either a “change in the ownership or effective control” of the Company or in the “ownership of a substantial portion of the assets” of the Company within the meanings ascribed to such terms in Treasury Department regulations or other guidance issued under Section 409A of the Code.”
(e) “Code” means the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended from time to time, and the rulings and regulations issued thereunder.
(f) “Committee” has the meaning set forth in Section 3.
(g) “Company” means Arkansas Best Corporation, a Delaware corporation.
(h) “Director” means each member of the Board who is not an officer or employee of the Company or any Subsidiary.
(i) “Fair Market Value” on a date means the closing price per Share on such date as quoted on the National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotation System or such other market in which such prices are regularly quoted, unless the Committee provides otherwise.
(j) “Incentive Stock Option” means a stock option that is intended to qualify as an “incentive stock option” within the meaning of Section 422 of the Code.
(k) “Nonqualified Stock Option” means a stock option that does not qualify as an “incentive stock option” within the meaning of Section 422 of the Code.
(l) “Option” means an Incentive Stock Option and/or a Nonqualified Stock Option granted pursuant to Section 7.
(m) “Participant” means any individual described in Section 4 to whom the Committee grants or has granted Awards and any authorized transferee of such individual.
(n) “Performance Award Unit” means a bonus opportunity awarded under Section 10 pursuant to which a Participant may become entitled to receive an amount based on satisfaction of performance criteria specified in the Award Agreement.
(o) “Plan” means Arkansas Best Corporation 2005 Ownership Incentive Plan as set forth herein and as amended from time to time.
(p) “Prior Plans” mean the 2002 Arkansas Best Corporation Stock Option Plan, the Arkansas Best Corporation Nonqualified Stock Option Plan and the 1992 Arkansas Best Corporation Stock Option Plan.
(q) “Qualifying Performance Criteria” has the meaning set forth in Section 14(b).
(r) “Restricted Stock” means Shares granted pursuant to Section 9.
(s) “Restricted Stock Unit” means an Award granted to a Participant pursuant to Section 9 pursuant to which Shares or cash in lieu thereof may be issued in the future.
(t) “Retirement” means, unless the Committee specifies otherwise in an Award Agreement, (i) with respect to Participants other than Directors, retirement from active employment with the Company and its Subsidiaries (A) at or after age 55 and with at least ten (10) years of service with the Company and its Subsidiaries or (B) at or after age 65, or (ii) with respect to Directors, retirement from service on the Board at or after age 65 with at least 5 years of Board service.
(u) “Shares” means shares of the Company’s common stock, par value $.01, subject to adjustment as provided in Section 13.
(v) “Stock Appreciation Right” means a right granted pursuant to Section 8 that entitles the Participant to receive, in cash, Shares or a combination thereof, an amount equal to or otherwise based on the excess of (i) the Fair Market Value of a specified number of Shares when exercised, over (ii) the exercise price of the right, as established by the Committee when granted.
(w) “Subsidiary” means any corporation (other than the Company) in an unbroken chain of corporations beginning with the Company where each of the corporations in the unbroken chain other than the last corporation owns stock possessing at least 50 percent or more of the total combined voting power of all classes of stock in one of the other corporations in the chain, and if specifically determined by the Committee in the context other than with respect to Incentive Stock Options, may include an entity in which the Company has a significant ownership interest or that the Company directly or indirectly controls.
(a) Administration of the Plan. The Compensation Committee of the Board or another committee of two or more directors as established by the Board will administer the Plan (the “Committee”). Any power of the Committee may also be exercised by the Board of Directors, except to the extent that the grant or exercise of such authority would cause any Award or transaction to become subject to (or lose an exemption under) the short-swing profit recovery provisions of Section 16 of the Exchange Act or disqualify an Award intended to qualify for treatment as performance-based compensation under Section 162(m) of the Code. To the extent that any permitted action taken by the Board conflicts with action taken by the Committee, the Board action will control.
(b) Delegation of Authority by the Committee. The Committee may delegate to a subcommittee (a “Subcommittee”) composed of one or more officers of the Company (who may but need not be members of the Board) the ability to grant Awards and take the same actions as the Committee described in Section 3(c) or elsewhere in the Plan with respect to Participants who are not executive officers; provided, however, that the resolution authorizing the Subcommittee must specify the total number of Shares that may be subject to Awards granted by the Subcommittee pursuant to the delegated authority. Any Award granted by the Subcommittee will be subject to the form of Award Agreement approved in advance by the Committee. No officer who is a member of the Subcommittee may be granted Awards under the authority delegated to the Subcommittee. Any action by any Subcommittee within the scope of such delegation will be treated for all purposes as if taken by the Committee and references in this Plan to the Committee will include any such Subcommittee. The Committee may also delegate the administration of the Plan to one or more officers of the Company (each a “Plan Administrator”), and the Plan Administrator(s) may have the authority to execute and distribute Award Agreements or other documents evidencing or relating to Awards, maintain records relating to the grant, vesting, exercise, forfeiture or expiration of Awards, process or oversee the issuance of Shares upon the exercise, vesting and/or settlement of an Award, interpret and administer the terms of Award Agreements and to take such other actions as may be necessary or appropriate for the administration of the Plan and of Awards under the Plan, subject to the Committee’s ultimate authority to administer and interpret the Plan.
(c) Powers of Committee. Subject to the express provisions of this Plan, the Committee will be authorized and empowered to do all things that it determines to be necessary or appropriate in connection with the administration of this Plan, including, without limitation: (i) to prescribe, amend and rescind rules and regulations relating to this Plan and to define terms not otherwise defined herein; (ii) to determine which persons are eligible under Section 4 to be granted Awards and the timing of Awards, if any, to be granted to such eligible persons; (iii) to grant Awards to Participants and determine the terms and conditions of Awards, including the number of Shares subject to Awards and the exercise or purchase price of such Shares and the circumstances under which Awards become exercisable or vested or are forfeited or expire, which terms may but need not be conditioned upon the passage of time, continued employment, the satisfaction of performance criteria, the occurrence of certain events (including events which the Board or the Committee determine constitute a Change in Control), or other factors; (iv) to establish and certify the extent of satisfaction of any performance goals or other conditions applicable to the grant, issuance, exercisability, vesting and/or ability to retain any Award; (v) to prescribe and amend the terms of Award Agreements or other documents relating to Awards made under this Plan (which may be different) and the terms of or form of any document or notice the Participants are required to deliver to the Company; (vi) to determine whether, and the extent to which, adjustments are required pursuant to Section 13; (vii) to interpret and construe this Plan, any rules and regulations under this Plan and the terms and conditions of any Award granted hereunder, and to make exceptions to any such provisions in good faith and for the benefit of the Company; and (viii) to make all other determinations deemed necessary or advisable for the administration of this Plan.
(d) Determinations by the Committee. All decisions, determinations and interpretations by the Committee related to the Plan, any rules and regulations under the Plan and the terms and conditions of or operation of any Award granted hereunder, will be final and binding on all Participants, beneficiaries, heirs, assigns or other persons holding or claiming rights under the Plan or any Award. The Committee will consider those factors as it deems relevant, in its sole and absolute discretion, to making any decisions, determinations and interpretations including, without limitation, the recommendations or advice of any officer or other employee of the Company and such attorneys, consultants and accountants as it may select.
(e) Subsidiary Awards. In the case of a grant of an Award to any Participant employed by a Subsidiary, the Company may implement such a grant, if the Committee so directs, by issuing any subject shares to the Subsidiary, for such lawful consideration as the Committee may determine, upon the condition or understanding that the Subsidiary will transfer the shares to the Participant in accordance with the terms of the Award specified by the Committee pursuant to the provisions of the Plan. Notwithstanding any other provision hereof, the Subsidiary may issue the Award by and in its name and the Award will be deemed granted on the date determined by the Committee.
The Committee may select any Director or person who is a current or prospective officer or employee of the Company or of any Subsidiary for the grant of Awards. Options intending to qualify as Incentive Stock Options may only be granted to employees of the Company or any Subsidiary within the meaning of the Code. For purposes of this Plan, the Committee will determine the Chairman of the Board’s status as an employee.
5. Effective Date and Termination of Plan
The Company’s Board adopted this Plan as of February 24, 2005. The Plan will become effective (the “Effective Date”) when the Company’s stockholders approve it. The Plan will remain available for the grant of Awards until the tenth (10th) anniversary of the Effective Date. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Board may terminate the Plan at any time. Termination of the Plan will not affect the rights and obligations of the Participants and the Company arising under Awards previously granted and then in effect.
6. Shares Subject to the Plan and to Awards
(a) Aggregate Limits. The maximum aggregate number of Shares issuable pursuant to all Awards is 1,500,000, plus any shares subject to outstanding awards under the Prior Plans as of the Effective Date that become available pursuant to Section 6(b). The aggregate number of Shares available for grant under this Plan and the number of Shares subject to outstanding Awards will be subject to adjustment as provided in Section 13. The Shares issued pursuant to Awards granted under this Plan may be authorized and unissued shares or shares that the Company reacquired, including shares purchased in the open market.
(b) Issuance of Shares. For purposes of Section 6(a), the aggregate number of Shares issued under this Plan at any time equals only the number of Shares actually issued upon exercise or settlement of an Award. Shares (i) subject to Awards that are canceled, expired, forfeited or settled in cash and (ii) that are delivered or deemed delivered to the Company in payment or satisfaction of the exercise price or tax withholding obligation of an Award will again be available for issuance pursuant to Awards granted under the Plan. In addition, shares subject to awards made under any of the Prior Plans (i) that do not result in the issuance of Shares as a result of the awards having been canceled, expired, forfeited or settled in cash or (ii) that are delivered or deemed delivered to the Company in payment or satisfaction of the exercise price or tax withholding obligations of an award under a Prior Plan will be available for issuance pursuant to Awards granted under this Plan.
(c) Tax Code Limits. The maximum aggregate number of Shares issuable under all Awards granted under this Plan during any calendar year to any one Participant is 100,000, which number will be calculated and adjusted pursuant to Section 13 only to the extent that such calculation or adjustment will not affect the status of any Award intended to qualify as “performance based compensation” under Section 162(m) of the Code. The maximum aggregate number of Shares that may be issued pursuant to the exercise of Incentive Stock Options granted under this Plan is 1,500,000, which number will be calculated and adjusted pursuant to Section 13 only to the extent that such calculation or adjustment will not affect the status of any option intended to qualify as an Incentive Stock Option under Section 422 of the Code. For that portion of a Performance Award Unit granted under this Plan in any calendar year to any Participant that is denominated in dollars (as opposed to Shares) and is intended to satisfy the requirements for “performance based compensation” under Section 162(m) of the Code, the maximum amount payable for the performance period is $2 million times the number of years in the performance period.
(a) Option Awards. The Committee may grant Options to Participants at any time prior to the termination of the Plan. No Participant will have any rights as a stockholder with respect to any Shares subject to Options until said Shares have been issued. Each Option will be evidenced by an Award Agreement. Options granted pursuant to the Plan may be different but each Option must contain and be subject to the terms and conditions set forth below.
(b) Price. The Committee will establish the exercise price per Share of each Option, which, in no event will the purchase price be less than the Fair Market Value of a Share on the date of grant; provided, however, that the exercise price per Share with respect to an Option that is granted in connection with a merger or other acquisition as a substitute or replacement award for options held by optionees of the acquired entity may be less than 100% of the Fair Market Value on the date such Option is granted if based on a formula set forth in the terms of the options held by such optionees or in the terms of the agreement providing for such merger or other acquisition. The exercise price of any Option may be paid in cash or, to the extent allowed by the Committee, an irrevocable commitment by a broker to pay over such amount from a sale of the Shares issuable under an Option, the delivery of previously owned Shares, withholding of Shares deliverable upon exercise or a combination thereof.
(c) No Repricing. Other than in connection with a change in the Company’s capitalization (as described in Section 13) the exercise price of an Option may not be reduced without shareholder approval (including canceling previously awarded Options and regranting them with a lower exercise price).
(d) Provisions Applicable to Options. In no event may any Option become exercisable sooner than one (1) year after the date of grant except to the extent provided by the Committee in the event of the Participant’s death, disability or Retirement or a Change in Control. Unless provided otherwise in the applicable Award Agreement, the vesting period and/or exercisability of an Option will be adjusted by the Committee during or to reflect the effects of any period during which the Participant is on an approved leave of absence or is employed on a less than full-time basis. Each Option will expire within a period of not more than ten (10) years from the date of grant.
(e) Incentive Stock Options. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Section 7, in the case of the grant of an Option intending to qualify as an Incentive Stock Option: (i) if the Participant owns stock possessing more than 10 percent of the combined voting power of all classes of stock of the Company (a “10% Shareholder”), the purchase price of the Option must be at least 110 percent of the Fair Market Value of a Share on the date of grant and the Option must expire within a period of not more than five (5) years from the date of grant, and (ii) termination of employment will occur when the person to whom an Award was granted ceases to be an employee
(as determined in accordance with Section 3401(c) of the Code and the regulations promulgated thereunder) of the Company and its Subsidiaries. Notwithstanding anything in this Section 7 to the contrary, options designated as Incentive Stock Options will be ineligible for treatment under the Code as Incentive Stock Options (and will be deemed to be Nonqualified Stock Options) to the extent that (i) the aggregate Fair Market Value of Shares (determined as of the time of grant) with respect to which such Options are exercisable for the first time by the Participant during any calendar year (under all plans of the Company and any Subsidiary) exceeds $100,000, taking Options into account in the order in which they were granted, or (ii) such Options otherwise remain exercisable but are not exercised within three (3) months after termination of employment (or such other period of time provided in Section 422 of the Code).
8. Stock Appreciation Rights
Stock Appreciation Rights may be granted to Participants either in tandem with or as a component of other Awards granted under the Plan (“tandem SARs”) or not in conjunction with other Awards (“freestanding SARs”) and may, but need not, relate to a specific Option granted under Section 7. The provisions of Stock Appreciation Rights do not need to be the same with respect to each grant or each recipient. Any Stock Appreciation Right granted in tandem with an Option may be granted at the same time such Option is granted or at any time thereafter before exercise or expiration of such Option. All Stock Appreciation Rights under the Plan will be granted subject to the same terms and conditions applicable to Options as set forth in Section 7; provided, however, that Stock Appreciation Rights granted in tandem with a previously granted Option will have the terms and conditions of such Option. Subject to the provisions of Section 7, the Committee may impose such other conditions or restrictions on any Stock Appreciation Right as it deems appropriate. Stock Appreciation Rights may be settled in Shares, cash or a combination of both. Other than in connection with a change in the Company’s capitalization (as described in Section 13), the exercise price of a Stock Appreciation Right may not be reduced without stockholder approval (including canceling previously awarded Stock Appreciation Rights and regranting them with a lower exercise price). Each Stock Appreciation Right will be evidenced by an Award Agreement.
9. Restricted Stock and Restricted Stock Units
(a) Restricted Stock and Restricted Stock Unit Awards. Restricted Stock and Restricted Stock Units may be granted at any time before the termination of the Plan to Participants selected by the Committee. Restricted Stock is an award or issuance of Shares the grant, issuance, retention, vesting and/or transferability of which is subject during specified periods of time to such conditions (including continued employment or performance conditions) and terms as the Committee deems appropriate. Restricted Stock Units are Awards denominated in units of Shares under which the issuance of Shares is subject to such conditions (including continued employment or performance conditions) and terms, as the Committee deems appropriate. Each grant of Restricted Stock and Restricted Stock Units will be evidenced by an Award Agreement. Unless the Committee determines otherwise, each Restricted Stock Unit will be equal to one Share. To the extent determined by the Committee, Restricted Stock and Restricted Stock Units may be satisfied or settled in Shares, cash or a combination thereof. Restricted Stock and Restricted Stock Units granted pursuant to the Plan do not need to be identical, but each grant of Restricted Stock and Restricted Stock Units must contain and be subject to the terms and conditions set forth herein.
(b) Contents of Award Agreement. Each Award Agreement will contain provisions regarding (i) the number of Shares or Restricted Stock Units subject to such Award or a formula for determining such number, (ii) the purchase price of the Shares, if any, and the means of payment, (iii) the performance criteria, if any, and level of achievement versus these criteria that will determine the number of Restricted Stock or Restricted Stock Units granted, issued, retainable and/or vested, (iv) such terms and conditions on the grant, issuance, vesting and/or forfeiture of the Restricted Stock or Restricted Stock Units as may be determined by the Committee, (v) the term of the performance period, if any, as to which performance will be measured for determining the number of such Restricted Stock or Restricted Stock Units, (vi) restrictions on the transferability of the Restricted Stock or Restricted Stock Units, and (vii) such further terms and conditions in each case not inconsistent with this Plan as may be determined by the Committee. Shares issued under a Restricted Stock or Restricted Stock Unit Award may be issued in the name of the Participant and held by the Participant or held by the Company, in each case as the Committee may provide.
(c) Vesting and Performance Criteria. The grant, issuance, retention, vesting and/or settlement of shares of Restricted Stock and Restricted Stock Units will occur when and in such installments as the Committee determines or under criteria the Committee establishes, which may include Qualifying Performance Criteria. The grant, issuance, retention, vesting and/or settlement of Shares under any such Award that is based on performance criteria and level of achievement versus such criteria will be subject to a performance period of not less than one (1) year, and the grant, issuance, retention, vesting and/or settlement of Shares under any Restricted Stock or Restricted Stock Unit Award that is based upon continued employment or the passage of time may not vest or be settled in full over a period of less than three (3) years, except that the Committee may provide for the satisfaction and/or lapse of all conditions under any such Award in the event of the Participant’s death, disability, Retirement or in connection with a Change in Control, and the Committee may provide that any such restriction or limitation will not apply in the case of a Restricted Stock or Restricted Stock Unit Award that is issued in payment or settlement of compensation that has been earned by the Participant. Notwithstanding anything in this Plan to the contrary, the performance criteria for any Restricted Stock or Restricted Stock Unit that is intended to satisfy the requirements for “performance-based compensation” under Section 162(m) of the Code will be a measure based on one or more Qualifying Performance Criteria selected by the Committee and specified when the Restricted Stock or Restricted Stock Unit is granted.
(d) Discretionary Adjustments and Limits. Subject to the limits imposed under Section 162(m) of the Code for Awards that are intended to qualify as “performance based compensation,” notwithstanding the satisfaction of any performance goals, the Committee, to the extent specified in the Award Agreement, may reduce the number of Shares granted, issued, retainable and/or vested under an Award of Restricted Stock or Restricted Stock Units on account of either financial performance or personal performance evaluations on the basis of such further considerations as the Committee will determine.
(e) Voting Rights. Unless otherwise determined by the Committee, Participants holding shares of Restricted Stock granted under this Plan may exercise full voting rights with respect to those shares during the period of restriction. Participants will have no voting rights with respect to Shares underlying Restricted Stock Units unless and until such shares are reflected as issued and outstanding shares on the Company’s stock ledger.
(f) Dividends and Distributions. Participants in whose name Restricted Stock is granted will be entitled to receive all dividends and other distributions paid with respect to those shares, unless determined otherwise by the Committee. The Committee will determine whether any such dividends or distributions will be automatically reinvested in additional Shares of Restricted Stock and subject to the same restrictions on transferability as the Restricted Stock with respect to which they were distributed or whether such dividends or distributions will be paid in cash. Shares underlying Restricted Stock Units will be entitled to dividends or dividend equivalents only to the extent provided by the Committee.
10. Performance Award Units
(a) General. Each Performance Award Unit Award will confer upon the Participant the opportunity to earn a future payment tied to the level of achievement with respect to the performance criteria established for a performance period established by the Committee. Unless otherwise stated in an Award Agreement, the performance period shall be a period of at least one (1) year.
(b) Award Agreement. The terms of any Performance Award Unit will be set forth in an Award Agreement. Each Award Agreement evidencing a Performance Award Unit will contain provisions about (i) the target and maximum amount payable to the Participant as a Performance Award Unit, (ii) the performance criteria and level of achievement versus these criteria that will determine the amount of such payment, (iii) the term of the performance period as to which performance will be measured for determining the amount of any payment, (iv) the timing of any payment earned by virtue of performance, (v) restrictions on the alienation or transfer of the Performance Award Unit before actual payment, (vi) forfeiture provisions and (vii) such further terms and conditions, in each case consistent with this Plan as the Committee may periodically determine.
(c) Performance Criteria. The Committee will establish the performance criteria and level of achievement versus these criteria that will determine the target and maximum amount payable under a Performance Award Unit, which criteria may be based on financial performance and/or personal performance evaluations. The Committee may specify the percentage of the target Performance Award Unit that is intended to satisfy the requirements for “performance-based compensation” under Section 162(m) of the Code. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein, the performance criteria for any portion of a Performance Award Unit that is intended by the Committee to satisfy the requirements for “performance-based compensation” under Section 162(m) of the Code will be a measure
based on the Qualifying Performance Criteria the Committee selects and specifies when the Performance Award Unit is granted.
(d) Timing and Form of Payment. The Committee will determine the timing of payment of any Performance Award Unit. Payment of the amount due under a Performance Award Unit may be made in cash or in Shares, as determined by the Committee.
(e) Discretionary Adjustments. Notwithstanding satisfaction of any performance goals, the Committee may, to the extent specified in the Award Agreement, reduce the amount paid under a Performance Award Unit on account of either financial performance or personal performance evaluations on the basis of such further considerations as the Committee will determine.
11. Deferral of Gains
The Committee may, in an Award Agreement or otherwise, provide for the deferred delivery of Shares upon settlement, vesting or other events with respect to Restricted Stock or Restricted Stock Units, or in payment or satisfaction of a Performance Award Unit. Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, in no event will any deferral of the delivery of Shares or any other payment with respect to any Award be allowed if the Committee determines, in its sole discretion, that the deferral would result in the imposition of the additional tax under Section 409A(1)(B) of the Code.
12. Conditions and Restrictions Upon Securities Subject to Awards
The Committee may provide that the Shares issued upon exercise of an Option or Stock Appreciation Right or otherwise subject to or issued under an Award will be subject to such further agreements, restrictions, conditions or limitations as the Committee in its discretion may specify before the exercise of such Option or Stock Appreciation Right or the grant, vesting or settlement of such Award, including, without limitation, conditions on vesting or transferability, forfeiture or repurchase provisions and method of payment for the shares issued upon exercise, vesting or settlement of such Award (including the actual or constructive surrender of Shares already owned by the Participant) or payment of taxes arising in connection with an Award. Without limiting the foregoing, such restrictions may address the timing and manner of any resales by the Participant or other subsequent transfers by the Participant of any Shares issued under an Award, including, without limitation, (i) restrictions under an insider trading policy or pursuant to applicable law, (ii) restrictions designed to delay and/or coordinate the timing and manner of sales by Participant and holders of other Company equity compensation arrangements, and (iii) restrictions as to the use of a specified brokerage firm for such resales or other transfers.
13. Adjustment of and Changes in the Stock
(a) In the event that the number of Shares increases or decreases through a reorganization, reclassification, combination of shares, stock split, reverse stock split, spin-off, dividend (other than regular, quarterly cash dividends), or otherwise, then the Committee may appropriately adjust each Share that has been authorized for issuance under the Plan, whether such Share is then currently subject to or may become subject to an Award under the Plan, as well as the per share limits set forth in Section 6 to reflect such increase or decrease, unless the Company provides otherwise under the terms of such transaction. The Committee may also adjust the terms of any outstanding Award as to price, number of Shares subject to such Award and other terms to reflect the foregoing events.
(b) In the event of any other change in the number or kind of outstanding Shares, or any stock or other securities into which such Shares have been changed, or for which Shares have been exchanged, whether by reason of a Change in Control, other merger, consolidation or otherwise, then the Committee will, in its sole discretion, determine the appropriate adjustment, if any, to be effected. In addition, in the event of a change described in this paragraph, the Committee may accelerate the time or times at which any Award may be exercised and may provide for cancellation of such accelerated Awards that are not exercised within a time prescribed by the Committee in its sole discretion. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein, any adjustment to Options granted pursuant to this Plan intended to qualify as Incentive Stock Options must comply with the requirements, provisions and restrictions of the Code.
(c) No right to purchase fractional shares will result from any adjustment in Awards pursuant to this Section 13. In case of any such adjustment, the shares subject to the Award will be rounded down to the nearest whole share. The Company will give notice of any adjustment made to each Participant, and such adjustment (whether or not notice is given) will be effective and binding for all purposes of the Plan.
14. Qualifying Performance-Based Compensation
(a) General. The Committee may specify a percentage of an Award that is intended to satisfy the requirements for “performance-based compensation” under Section 162(m) of the Code, provided that the performance criteria for any portion of an Award that is intended by the Committee to satisfy the requirements for “performance-based compensation” under Section 162(m) of the Code will be a measure based on one or more Qualifying Performance Criteria selected by the Committee and specified at the time the Award is granted. The Committee will certify the extent to which any Qualifying Performance Criteria has been satisfied, and the amount payable as a result thereof, prior to payment, settlement or vesting of any Award that is intended to satisfy the requirements for “performance-based compensation” under Section 162(m) of the Code. Notwithstanding satisfaction of any performance goals, the number of Shares issued or the amount paid under an Award intended by the Committee to satisfy the requirements for “performance-based compensation” under Section 162(m) of the Code may, to the extent specified in the Award Agreement, be reduced by the Committee on the basis of such further considerations as the Committee in its sole discretion determines.
(b) Qualifying Performance Criteria. For purposes of this Plan, the term “Qualifying Performance Criteria” will mean any of the following performance criteria, either individually, alternatively or in any combination, applied to either the Company as a whole or to a business unit or Subsidiary, either individually, alternatively or in any combination, and measured either quarterly, annually or cumulatively over a period of years, on an absolute basis or relative to a pre-established target, to previous years’ results or to a designated comparison group, in each case as the Committee specifies: pretax income, net income, earnings per share, revenues, expenses, return on assets, return on equity, return on capital employed, return on investment, net profit margin, operating profit margin, operating cash flow, total shareholder return, capitalization, liquidity, results of customer surveys and safety or productivity improvement. To the extent consistent with Section 162(m) of the Code, the Committee may appropriately adjust any performance evaluation under a Qualifying Performance Criteria to exclude any of the following events that occurs during a performance period: (i) asset write-downs, (ii) litigation, claims, judgments or settlements, (iii) the effect of changes in tax law or other such laws or regulations affecting reported results, (iv) accruals for reorganization and restructuring programs,(v) any extraordinary, unusual or non-recurring items as described in Accounting Principles Board Opinion (“APB”) No. 30, (vi) any change in accounting principle as defined in APB No. 20, (vii) any loss from a discontinued operation as described in Financial Accounting Standards No. 144 and (viii) any amounts accrued by the Company or its Subsidiaries pursuant to management bonus plans or cash profit sharing plans and related employer payroll taxes for the fiscal year.
Unless the Committee specifies otherwise, each Award may not be sold, transferred, pledged, assigned, or otherwise alienated or hypothecated by a Participant other than (i) by will or the laws of descent and distribution, (ii) pursuant to a domestic relations order or (iii) to any “family member” of the Participant (as such term is defined in Section 1(a)(5) of the General Instructions to Form S-8 under the Securities Act), to trusts solely for the benefit of such family members and to partnerships in which such family members and/or trusts are the only partners; provided that following any such transfer or assignment the Award will remain subject to substantially the same terms applicable to the Award while held by the Participant, as modified as the Committee shall determine appropriate, and the transferee shall execute an agreement agreeing to be bound by such terms. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Clauses (ii) and (iii) immediately above shall not be available with respect to Incentive Stock Options. Each Option or Stock Appreciation Right will be exercisable during the Participant’s lifetime only by the Participant, the Participant’s guardian or legal representative or an individual or an authorized transferee of the Option or Stock Appreciation Right.
16. Suspension or Termination of Awards
Except as otherwise provided by the Committee, if at any time (including after a notice of exercise has been delivered or an Award has vested) the Chief Executive Officer or any other person designated by the Committee (each such person, an “Authorized Officer”) reasonably believes that a Participant may have committed an Act of Misconduct as described in this Section 16, the Authorized Officer, Committee or Board of Directors may suspend the Participant’s rights to exercise any Option, to vest in an Award, and/or to receive payment for or receive Shares in settlement of an Award pending a determination of whether an Act of Misconduct has been committed.
If the Committee or an Authorized Officer determines a Participant has committed an act of embezzlement, fraud, dishonesty, nonpayment of any obligation owed to the Company or any Subsidiary, breach of fiduciary duty, violation of Company ethics policy or code of conduct, deliberate disregard of Company or Subsidiary rules, or if a Participant makes an unauthorized disclosure of any Company or Subsidiary trade secret or confidential information, solicits any employee or service provider to leave the employ or cease providing services to the Company or any Subsidiary, breaches any intellectual property or assignment of inventions covenant, engages in any conduct constituting unfair competition, breaches any non-competition agreement, induces any Company or Subsidiary customer to breach a contract with the Company or any Subsidiary or to cease doing business with the Company or any Subsidiary, or induces any principal for whom the Company or any Subsidiary acts as agent to terminate such agency relationship (any of the foregoing acts, an “Act of Misconduct”), then except as otherwise provided by the Committee, (i) neither the Participant nor his or her estate nor transferee will be entitled to exercise any Option or Stock Appreciation Right whatsoever, vest in or have the restrictions on an Incentive Award lapse, or otherwise receive payment or Shares under any Award and (ii) the Participant will forfeit all outstanding Awards. In making such determination, the Committee or an Authorized Officer shall give the Participant an opportunity to appear and present evidence on his or her behalf at a hearing before the Committee or an opportunity to submit written comments, documents, information and arguments to be considered by the Committee. Any dispute by a Participant or other person as to the determination of the Committee must be resolved pursuant to Section 23.
17. Compliance with Laws and Regulations
The grant, issuance, vesting, exercise and settlement of Awards under this Plan, and the obligation of the Company to sell, issue or deliver shares of such Awards, will be subject to all applicable foreign, federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations, stock exchange rules and regulations, and to such approvals by any governmental or regulatory agency as may be required. The Company will not be required to register in a Participant’s name or deliver any shares before the completion of any registration or qualification of such shares under any foreign, federal, state or local law or any ruling or regulation of any government body, which the Committee will determine to be necessary or advisable. To the extent the Company is unable to or the Committee deems it infeasible to obtain authority from any regulatory body having jurisdiction, which authority is deemed by the Company’s counsel to be necessary to the lawful issuance and sale of any shares hereunder, the Company and its Subsidiaries will be relieved of any liability with respect to the failure to issue or sell such shares absent such requisite authority. No Option will be exercisable and no shares will be issued and/or transferable under any other Award unless a registration statement with respect to the shares underlying such Stock Option or other Award is effective and current or the Company has determined that such registration is unnecessary. In the event that the Committee determines that the Company is prohibited from issuing shares in respect of an Award pursuant to the preceding sentence, the Committee may, in its sole discretion, provide for a cash payment to the holder of the Award in settlement thereof in lieu of the issuance of shares under the Award.
If an Award is granted to or held by a Participant employed or providing services outside the United States, the Committee may, in its sole discretion, modify the provisions of the Plan or of such Award as they pertain to such individual to comply with applicable foreign law or to recognize differences in local law, currency or tax policy. The Committee may also impose conditions on the grant, issuance, exercise, vesting, settlement or retention of Awards to comply with such foreign law and/or to minimize the Company’s obligations with respect to tax equalization for Participants employed outside their home country.
To the extent required by applicable federal, state, local or foreign law, a Participant must satisfy, in a manner satisfactory to the Company, any withholding tax obligations that arise by reason of an Option exercise, disposition of shares issued under an Incentive Stock Option, the vesting of or settlement of Shares or deferred units under an Award, an election pursuant to Section 83(b) of the Code or otherwise with respect to an Award. The Company and its Subsidiaries will not be required to issue Shares, make any payment or to recognize the transfer or disposition of shares until the Participant satisfies such obligations. The Committee may permit these obligations to be satisfied by having the Company withhold a portion of the Shares that otherwise would be issued to the Participant upon exercise of the Option or the vesting or settlement of an Award, or by tendering shares previously acquired.
19. Amendment of the Plan or Awards
The Board may amend, alter or discontinue this Plan and the Committee may amend, or alter any agreement or other document evidencing an Award made under this Plan but, except as provided pursuant to the provisions of Section 13, no such amendment will, without the approval of the stockholders of the Company:
(a) increase the maximum number of shares for which Awards may be granted under this Plan;
(b) reduce the price at which Options may be granted below the price provided for in Section 7(b);
(c) reduce the exercise price of outstanding Options;
(d) extend the term of this Plan;
(e) change the class of persons eligible to be Participants;
(f) otherwise amend the Plan in any manner requiring stockholder approval by law or under the NASDAQ National Market listing requirements; or
(g) increase the individual maximum limits in Section 6(c).
No amendment or alteration to the Plan or an Award or Award Agreement will be made which would impair the rights of the holder of an Award, without such holder’s consent, provided that no such consent will be required if the Committee determines in its sole discretion and before the date of any Change in Control that such amendment or alteration either is required or advisable in order for the Company, the Plan or the Award to satisfy any law or regulation.
20. No Liability of Company
The Company and any Subsidiary or affiliate which is in existence or hereafter comes into existence will not be liable to a Participant or any other person as to: (i) the non-issuance or sale of Shares as to which the Company has been unable to obtain from any regulatory body having jurisdiction the authority deemed by the Company’s counsel to be necessary to the lawful issuance and sale of any shares hereunder; and (ii) any tax consequence expected, but not realized, by any Participant or other person due to the receipt, exercise or settlement of any Award granted hereunder.
21. Non-Exclusivity of Plan
Neither the adoption of this Plan by the Board nor the submission of this Plan to the stockholders of the Company for approval will be construed as creating any limitations on the power of the Board or the Committee to adopt such other incentive arrangements as either may deem desirable, including, without limitation, the granting of restricted stock or stock options otherwise than under this Plan, and such arrangements may be either generally applicable or applicable only in specific cases.
22. Governing Law
This Plan and any agreements or other documents hereunder will be interpreted and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Delaware and applicable federal law. Any reference in this Plan or in the agreement or other document evidencing any Awards to a provision of law or to a rule or regulation will be deemed to include any successor law, rule or regulation of similar effect or applicability.
23. Arbitration of Disputes
If a Participant or other holder of an Award or person claiming a right under an Award or the Plan wishes to challenge any action of the Committee, a subcommittee or the Plan Administrator, the person may do so only by submitting to binding arbitration with respect to such decision. The review by the arbitrator will be limited to determining whether the Participant or other Award holder has proven that the Committee’s decision was arbitrary or capricious. This arbitration will be the sole and exclusive review permitted of the Committee’s decision. Participants, Award holders and persons claiming rights under an Award or the Plan explicitly waive any right to judicial review.
Notice of demand for arbitration will be made in writing to the Committee within thirty (30) days after the applicable decision by the Committee. The arbitrator will be selected by mutual agreement of the Committee and the Participant. If the Committee and the Participant are unable to agree on an arbitrator, the arbitrator will be selected by the American Arbitration Association. The arbitrator, no matter how selected, must be neutral within the meaning of the Commercial Rules of Dispute Resolution of the American Arbitration Association. The arbitrator will administer and conduct the arbitration pursuant to the Commercial Rules of Dispute Resolution of the American Arbitration Association. Each side will bear its own fees and expenses, including its own attorney’s fees, and each side will bear one half of the arbitrator’s fees and expenses; provided, however, that the arbitrator will have the discretion to award the prevailing party its fees and expenses. The arbitrator will have no authority to award exemplary, punitive, special, indirect, consequential, or other extracontractual damages. The decision of the arbitrator on the issue(s) presented for arbitration will be final and conclusive and any court of competent jurisdiction may enforce it.
24. No Right to Employment, Reelection or Continued Service
Nothing in this Plan or an Award Agreement will interfere with or limit in any way the right of the Company, its Subsidiaries and/or its affiliates to terminate any Participant’s employment, service on the Board or service for the Company at any time or for any reason not prohibited by law, nor confer upon any Participant any right to continue his or her employment or service for any specified period of time. Neither an Award nor any benefits arising under this Plan will constitute an employment contract with the Company, any Subsidiary and/or its affiliates. This Plan and the benefits hereunder may be terminated at any time in the sole and exclusive discretion of the Board without giving rise to any liability on the part of the Company, its Subsidiaries and/or its affiliates.