EXECUTIVE EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT
This EXECUTIVE EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT dated as of March 14, 2022 (Agreement) is by and between Greg Peters (Executive) and RIGETTI COMPUTING, INC. (the Company).
WHEREAS, Executive is employed by the Company as its Chief Revenue Officer;
WHEREAS, the Company desires to employ Executive on and following the Effective Date (as defined below) and provide Executive with certain compensation and benefits in return for Executives services, and Executive agrees to be employed by the Company in such capacity and to receive the compensation and benefits on the terms and conditions set forth herein; and
NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the mutual promises and covenants contained herein, the parties agree to the following:
1. Employment by the Company.
1.1 Contingent on Transaction. The effective date (Effective Date) of the employment terms in this Agreement shall be contingent upon and concurrent with the Closing Date as defined in that certain Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated October 6, 2021, by and among the Company, Supernova Partners Acquisition Company II, Ltd., Supernova Merger Sub, Inc. and Supernova Romeo Merger Sub, LLC (the Merger Agreement) and, contingent on occurrence of the Closing Date, the terms of this Agreement shall supersede and replace the prior offer letter in effect between Company and Executive as of the Effective Date. If the transactions contemplated by the Merger Agreement do not close, this Agreement shall have no effect and shall terminate as of the termination of the Merger Agreement, and neither the Company nor the Executive shall have obligations hereunder. Capitalized terms used herein and not otherwise defined shall have the meanings set forth in the Merger Agreement.
1.2 Position. Subject to the terms set forth herein, the Company agrees to employ Executive in the position of Chief Revenue Officer, and Executive hereby accepts such continued employment on the terms and conditions set forth in this Agreement.
1.3 Duties. As Chief Revenue Officer, Executive will report to the Chief Executive Officer of the Company (the CEO), performing such duties as are normally associated with the position and such duties as are assigned from time to time, subject to the oversight and direction of the CEO. During calendar year 2022, Executive shall be permitted to work remotely within the United States at Executives discretion. Executive shall make such business trips to such places as may be reasonably necessary or advisable for the efficient operations of the Company.
1.4 Company Policies and Benefits. The employment relationship between the parties shall also be subject to the Companys personnel policies and procedures as they may be interpreted, adopted, revised or deleted from time to time in the Companys sole discretion. Executive will be eligible to participate on the same basis as similarly situated employees in the Companys benefit plans in effect from time to time during Executives employment. All matters of eligibility for coverage or benefits under any benefit plan shall be determined in accordance with the provisions of such plan. The Company reserves the right to change, alter, or terminate any benefit plan in its sole discretion. Notwithstanding the foregoing, in the event that the terms of this Agreement differ from or are in conflict with the Companys general employment policies or practices, this Agreement shall control.
1.5 Vacation. While this Agreement is in effect, Executive shall also receive unlimited paid time off subject to the Companys vacation policies and procedures as in effect or amended from time to time.
1.6 Indemnification. Subject to applicable law, Executive will be provided indemnification to the maximum extent permitted by the Companys Certificate of Incorporation or Bylaws, all as amended, including, if applicable, any directors and officers insurance policies, with such indemnification to be on terms determined by the Board or any of its committees. Such indemnification shall be documented in an Indemnification Agreement provided after the Closing Date subject to approval by the Board.
2.1 Salary. Executive shall receive for Executives services to be rendered under this Agreement an initial base salary of $334,000 on an annualized basis, subject to review and adjustment by the Company in its sole discretion, payable subject to standard federal and state payroll withholding requirements in accordance with the Companys standard payroll practices (Base Salary).
2.2 Annual Bonus. While this Agreement is in effect, Executive shall be eligible for a discretionary annual cash bonus of a target amount equal to 25% of Base Salary (Target Amount), subject to review and adjustment by the Company in its reasonable discretion, payable subject to standard federal and state payroll withholding requirements. Whether or not Executive earns any bonus will be dependent upon (a) Executives continuous performance of services to the Company through the last date of the applicable performance period, unless otherwise provided for in this Agreement; and (b) the actual achievement by Executive and the Company of the applicable performance targets and goals set by the Board or its Compensation Committee. The annual period over which performance is measured for purposes of this bonus is January 1 through December 31. The Board or its Compensation Committee will determine in its reasonable discretion the extent to which Executive and the Company have achieved the performance goals upon which the bonus is based and the amount of the bonus, which could be above or below the Target Amount (and may be zero). The bonus, if awarded, will be paid no later than March 15 of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year for which the bonus is being measured.
(a) Subject to the approval of the Board or the Compensation Committee of the Board (Compensation Committee), on the effective date of the Companys first filing of an S-8 registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that occurs following the Closing Date, the Company will grant Executive restricted stock units to acquire 350,000 (the Initial RSU Award). To be eligible for the Initial RSU Award, Executive must still be employed by the Company when the Board or the Compensation Committee grants
the Initial RSU Award. The Initial RSU Award will be subject to the terms and conditions of that certain 2022 Equity Incentive Plan (the Plan) and a restricted stock unit award agreement in a form approved by the Company. The Initial RSU Award will vest in accordance with the following schedule: one fourth (1/4th) of the total number of Initial RSU Awards (rounded down) will satisfy time-based vesting on the one-year anniversary of the vesting commencement date and thereafter one-forty eighth (1/48th) of the total number of Initial RSU Awards (rounded down, except for the final scheduled vesting installment) will satisfy time-based vesting each month following the vesting commencement date over a period of four years.
(b) Subject to the approval of the Board or the Compensation Committee, Executive will be eligible for an annual refresh restricted stock unit grant to acquire 102,200 shares of Company common stock (the Refresh RSU Award). To be eligible for the Refresh RSU Award, Executive must still be employed by the Company when the Board or the Compensation Committee grants the Refresh RSU Award. The Refresh RSU Award will be subject to the terms and conditions of the Plan and a restricted stock unit award agreement in a form approved by the Company. The Refresh RSU Award will vest in accordance with the following schedule: one-forty eighth (1/48th) of the total number of Refresh RSU Awards (rounded down, except for the final scheduled vesting installment) will satisfy time-based vesting each month following the vesting commencement date over a period of four years. In the event of a Change in Control (as defined in the Plan), 100% of the then unvested shares subject to the Refresh RSU Award shall vest immediately prior to the consummation of the Change in Control, subject to Executives Continuous Service through such date. In the event that Executive is terminated for Cause, as defined below, the Refresh RSU Award will cease to vest as of the date of termination and the Executive will have no further right, title or interest in the Refresh RSU Award.
(c) Executive is also eligible to receive restricted stock units to acquire shares of Company common stock (the PSU Awards), if certain performance-based milestones established by the Company are satisfied in the future and provided that Executive has remained continuously employed by the Company through the date that the Board or the Compensation Committee grants such PSU Awards. The PSU Awards, if granted, will be issued subject to the terms and conditions of the Plan and a restricted stock unit award agreement in a form satisfactory to the Company and shall vest in accordance with the terms therein.
(d) Executive will also be eligible to receive awards of stock options, restricted stock, restricted stock units or other equity awards pursuant to any plans or arrangements the Company may have in effect from time to time. The Board or a committee of the Board shall determine in its discretion whether Executive shall be granted any such equity awards and the terms of any such award in accordance with the terms of any applicable plan or arrangement that may be in effect from time to time.
2.4 Expense Reimbursement. The Company will reimburse Executive for reasonable business expenses in accordance with the Companys standard expense reimbursement policy, as the same may be modified by the Company from time to time. For the avoidance of doubt, to the extent that any reimbursements payable to Executive are subject to the provisions of Section 409A of the Code: (a) any such reimbursements will be paid no later than December 31 of the year following the year in which the expense was incurred, (b) the amount of expenses reimbursed in one year will not affect the amount eligible for reimbursement in any subsequent year, and (c) the right to reimbursement under this Agreement will not be subject to liquidation or exchange for another benefit.
2.5 Healthcare Reimbursement. The Company will reimburse Executive for healthcare expenses for healthcare provided outside the Company provided plan in the amount of $1,250 per month (which includes healthcare cost plus tax gross-up).
3. Confidential Information and Invention Assignment Obligations. As a condition of continued employment, Executive agrees to execute and abide by a Confidential Information and Invention Assignment Agreement attached as Exhibit A (Proprietary Information Agreement), which may be amended by the parties from time to time without regard to this Agreement. The Proprietary Information Agreement contains provisions that are intended by the parties to survive and do survive termination of this Agreement.
4. Outside Activities during Employment. During the term of Executives employment with the Company, Executive will work on a full-time basis for the Company and will devote Executives best efforts and substantially all of Executives business time and attention to the business of the Company. Except with the prior written consent of the CEO, including consent given to Executive prior to the signing of this Agreement as set forth on Exhibit B, Executive will not, while employed by the Company, undertake or engage in any other employment, occupation or business enterprise that would interfere with Executives responsibilities and the performance of Executives duties hereunder except for (i) reasonable time devoted to volunteer services for or on behalf of such religious, educational, non-profit and/or other charitable organization as Executive may wish to serve, (ii) reasonable time devoted to activities in the non-profit and business communities consistent with Executives duties; and (iii) such other activities as may be specifically approved by the Board, and such approval shall not be unreasonably withheld. This restriction shall not, however, preclude Executive (x) from owning less than one percent (1%) of the total outstanding shares of a publicly traded company, or (y) from employment or service in any capacity with Affiliates of the Company. As used in this Agreement, Affiliates means an entity under common management or control with the Company.
5. No Conflict with Existing Obligations. Executive represents that Executives performance of all the terms of this Agreement does not and will not breach any agreement or obligation of any kind made prior to Executives employment by the Company, including agreements or obligations Executive may have with prior employers or entities for which Executive has provided services. Executive has not entered into, and Executive agrees that Executive will not enter into, any agreement or obligation, either written or oral, in conflict herewith.
6. Termination of Employment. The parties acknowledge that Executives employment relationship with the Company is at-will, meaning either the Company or Executive may terminate Executives employment at any time, with or without cause or advance notice. The provisions in this Section govern the amount of compensation, if any, to be provided to Executive upon termination of employment and do not alter Executives at-will status.
6.1 Termination by the Company without Cause or for Good Reason.
(a) The Company shall have the right to terminate Executives employment with the Company pursuant to this Section 6.1 at any time, in accordance with Section 6.6, without Cause (as defined in Section 6.3(b) below) by giving notice as described in Section 7.1 of this Agreement. A termination pursuant to Section 6.5 below is not a termination without Cause for purposes of receiving the benefits described in Sections 6.1 or Section 6.2.
(b) If the Company terminates Executives employment at any time without Cause or Executive terminates employment with the Company for Good Reason and provided that such termination constitutes a separation from service (as defined under Treasury Regulation Section 1.409A-1(h), without regard to any alternative definition thereunder, a Separation from Service), then Executive shall be entitled to receive the Accrued Obligations (defined below). If Executive complies with the obligations in Section 6.1(c) below, Executive shall also be eligible to receive the following Severance Benefits:
(i) The Company will pay Executive an amount equal to Executives then current Base Salary for twelve (12) months, less all applicable withholdings and deductions, paid in equal installments on the Companys normal payroll schedule following the termination date, with the first payment beginning on the Severance Pay Commencement Date (as defined in Section 6.1(c) below), and the remaining installments occurring on the Companys regularly scheduled payroll dates thereafter; provided that on the Severance Pay Commencement Date, the Company will pay in a lump sum the aggregate amount of the cash severance payments that the Company would have paid Executive through such date had the payments commenced on the effective date of termination through the Severance Pay Commencement Date.
(ii) If Executive timely elects continued coverage under COBRA for Executive and Executives covered dependents under the Companys group health plans following such termination, then the Company shall pay the COBRA premiums necessary to continue Executives and Executives covered dependents health insurance coverage in effect for Executive (and Executives covered dependents) on the termination date until the earliest of: (i) twelve (12) months following the termination date (the COBRA Severance Period); (ii) the date when Executive becomes eligible for substantially equivalent health insurance coverage in connection with new employment or self-employment; or (iii) the date Executive ceases to be eligible for COBRA continuation coverage for any reason, including plan termination (such period from the termination date through the earlier of (i)-(iii), (the COBRA Payment Period). Notwithstanding the foregoing, if at any time the Company determines that its payment of COBRA premiums on Executives behalf would result in a violation of applicable law (including, but not limited to, the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the 2010 Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act), then in lieu of paying COBRA premiums pursuant to this Section, the Company shall pay Executive on the last day of each remaining month of the COBRA Payment Period, a fully taxable cash payment equal to the COBRA premium for such month, subject to applicable tax withholding (such amount, the Special Severance Payment), for the remainder of the COBRA Payment Period. Nothing in this Agreement shall deprive Executive of Executives rights under COBRA or ERISA for benefits under plans and policies arising under Executives employment by the Company.
(c) Executive will be paid all of the Accrued Obligations on the Companys first payroll date after Executives date of termination from employment or earlier if required by law. Executive shall receive the Severance Benefits pursuant to Section 6.1(b) or the Change in Control Severance Benefits (defined below) pursuant to 6.2(a) of this Agreement, as applicable, if: (i) Executive executes and does not revoke a separation agreement containing an effective, general release of claims in favor of the Company and its affiliates and representatives but no other post-employment obligations other than an obligation to continue to abide and be bound by any post-employment obligations set forth in agreements previously entered into with the Company or its affiliates, such as this Agreement or any proprietary rights agreement), in a form acceptable to the Company (the Release) and the Release is enforceable and effective as provided in the Release on or before the date that is the sixtieth (60th) day following the effective date of termination (such 60th day, the Severance Pay Commencement Date); (ii) if Executive holds any other positions with the Company, Executive resigns such position(s) to be effective no later than the date of Executives termination date (or such other date as requested by the Board); (iii) Executive returns all Company property on or before the Severance Pay Commencement Date; (iv) Executive complies with Executives post-termination obligations under this Agreement and the Proprietary Information Agreement; and (v) Executive complies with the terms of the Release.
(d) For purposes of this Agreement, Accrued Obligations are (i) Executives accrued but unpaid salary through the date of termination, (ii) any unreimbursed business expenses incurred by Executive payable in accordance with the Companys standard expense reimbursement policies, and (iii) benefits owed to Executive under any qualified retirement plan or health and welfare benefit plan in which Executive was a participant in accordance with applicable law and the provisions of such plan.
(e) The Severance Benefits provided to Executive pursuant to this Section 6.1 are in lieu of, and not in addition to, any benefits to which Executive may otherwise be entitled under any Company severance plan, policy or program.
(f) For purposes of this Agreement, Good Reason shall mean the occurrence of any of the following events without Executives consent: (i) a material reduction in Executives Base Salary, other than a reduction applied in a similar proportional amount to all similarly situated executives; (ii) a material breach of this Agreement by the Company; (iii) a material reduction in the Executives duties, authority and responsibilities relative to the Executives duties, authority, and responsibilities in effect immediately prior to such reduction; (iv) a material change in Executives reporting relationship, other than such change made directly in connection with organizational changes resulting from a Change in Control; or (v) the relocation of Executives principal place of employment, without Executives consent, in a manner that lengthens Executives one-way commute distance by twenty-five (25) or more miles from Executives then-current principal place of employment immediately prior to such relocation; not to include a requirement to return to in-person work as set forth in Section 1.3, in which circumstance Good Reason will not apply; provided, however, that, any such termination by Executive shall only be deemed for Good Reason pursuant to this definition if: (1) Executive gives the Company written notice of Executives intent to terminate for Good Reason within thirty (30) days following the first occurrence of the condition(s) that Executive believes constitute(s) Good Reason, which notice shall describe such condition(s); (2) the Company fails to remedy such condition(s) within thirty (30) days following receipt of the written notice (the Cure Period); and (3) Executive voluntarily terminates employment within thirty (30) days following the end of the Cure Period, or the parties agree in writing to extend such Cure Period.
6.2 Termination by the Company without Cause or for Good Reason Coincident with a Change in Control. If Executives employment by the Company is terminated by the Company or any successor entity without Cause (and not due to Disability or death) or by Executive for Good Reason, in either case, within three (3) months prior to or within twelve (12) months following the effective date of a Change in Control (as defined in the Plan), and, in either case, provided that such termination constitutes a Separation from Service, without regard to any alternative definition thereunder, then in addition to paying or providing Executive with the Accrued Obligations, and subject to compliance with Section 6.1(c), the following additional benefits shall be provided in lieu of, and not in addition to, the Severance Benefits provided for in Section 6.1(b) (the Change in Control Severance Benefits):
(a) The Company will pay Executive a lump sum equal to Executives then current annual Base Salary, less all applicable withholdings and deductions, paid on the Severance Pay Commencement Date.
(b) If Executive timely elects continued coverage under COBRA for Executive and Executives covered dependents under the Companys group health plans following such termination, then the Company shall pay the COBRA premiums necessary to continue Executives and Executives covered dependents health insurance coverage in effect for Executive (and Executives covered dependents) on the termination date during the COBRA Payment Period. Notwithstanding the foregoing, if at any time the Company determines that its payment of COBRA premiums on Executives behalf would result in a violation of applicable law (including, but not limited to, the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, as amended by the 2010 Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act), then in lieu of paying COBRA premiums pursuant to this Section, the Company shall pay Executive on the last day of each remaining month of the COBRA Payment Period, the Special Severance Payment, for the remainder of the COBRA Payment Period. Nothing in this Agreement shall deprive Executive of Executives rights under COBRA or ERISA for benefits under plans and policies arising under Executives employment by the Company.
(c) The Company will pay a bonus equivalent to a pro rata share of Executives full Target Amount, for the portion of the performance year completed when Executives termination occurs. This bonus will be payable subject to standard federal and state payroll withholding requirements in a lump sum payment on the Severance Pay Commencement Date.
(d) Notwithstanding the terms of any equity plan or award agreement to the contrary, the time-based vesting conditions applicable to 100% of Executives then outstanding stock options and/or other equity awards subject to time-based vesting requirements as of Executives termination date shall be accelerated as of the date of termination, and, with respect to any performance-based equity awards, and unless otherwise provided by the applicable award agreement, any performance-based vesting objectives will be deemed achieved at the higher of target or actual performance.
6.3 Termination by the Company for Cause.
(a) The Company shall have the right to terminate Executives employment with the Company at any time, in accordance with Section 6.6, for Cause by giving notice as described in Section 7.1 of this Agreement. In the event Executives employment is terminated at any time for Cause, Executive will not receive Severance Benefits, Change in Control Severance Benefits, or any other severance compensation or benefits, except that, pursuant to the Companys standard payroll policies, the Company shall pay to Executive the Accrued Obligations.
(b) Cause for termination shall mean that the Company has determined in its sole discretion that Executive has engaged in any of the following: (i) Executives material breach of any covenant or condition under this Agreement or any other agreement between the parties; (ii) Executives material act constituting dishonesty or fraudulent conduct in connection with Executives duties to the Company; (iii) any conduct which constitutes a felony or a crime of moral turpitude under applicable law; (iv) material violation of any Company policy; (v) refusal to follow or implement a clear and reasonable directive of Company, or any act of willful or intentional misconduct in relation to the Executives duties to the Company; (vi) repeated or willful failure by Executive to perform Executives duties in a manner satisfactory to the Company; or (vii) Executives breach of fiduciary duty to the Company; provided that Sections 6.3(b)(i), (iv) and (vi) shall only provide the basis for a Cause termination if the Executive has not cured such breach, violation or conduct, to the extent curable, after the expiration of ten (10) days following the Company providing Executive with written notice of such basis for Cause.
6.4 Resignation by Executive.
(a) Executive may resign from Executives employment with the Company at any time, in accordance with Section 6.6, by giving notice as described in Section 7.1.
(b) In the event Executive resigns from Executives employment with the Company for any reason other than Good Reason in accordance with Sections 6.1 or 6.2, Executive will not receive Severance Benefits, Change in Control Severance Benefits, or any other severance compensation or benefits, except that, pursuant to the Companys standard payroll policies, the Company shall pay to Executive the Accrued Obligations.
6.5 Termination by Virtue of Death or Disability of Executive.
(a) In the event of Executives death while employed pursuant to this Agreement, all obligations of the parties hereunder shall terminate, in accordance with Section 6.6, and the Company shall, pursuant to the Companys standard payroll policies, pay to Executives legal representatives all Accrued Obligations.
(b) Subject to applicable state and federal law, the Company shall at all times have the right, upon written notice to Executive, and in accordance with Section 6.6, to terminate Executives employment based on Executives Disability. Termination by the Company of Executives employment based on Disability shall mean termination because Executive is unable due to a physical or mental condition to perform the essential functions of Executives
position with or without reasonable accommodation for 180 days in the aggregate during any twelve (12) month period or based on the written certification by two licensed physicians of the likely continuation of such condition for such period. This definition shall be interpreted and applied consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and other applicable federal, state or local law. In the event Executives employment is terminated by the Company based on Executives Disability or Executive voluntarily resigns due to such Disability, Executive will not receive Severance Benefits, Change in Control Severance Benefits, or any other severance compensation or benefit, except that, pursuant to the Companys standard payroll policies, the Company shall pay to Executive the Accrued Obligations.
6.6 Notice; Effective Date of Termination.
(a) Termination of Executives employment pursuant to this Agreement shall be effective on the earliest of:
(i) immediately after the Company gives notice to Executive of Executives termination, with or without Cause, unless pursuant to Section 6.3(b)(i), if curable, or Section 6.3(b)(vi), in which case ten (10) days after notice if not cured or unless the Company specifies a later date, in which case, termination shall be effective as of such later date;
(ii) immediately upon the Executives death;
(iii) ten (10) days after the Company gives notice to Executive of Executives termination on account of Executives Disability, unless the Company specifies a later date, in which case, termination shall be effective as of such later date, provided that Executive has not returned to the full-time performance of Executives duties prior to such date;
(iv) ten (10) days after the Executive gives written notice to the Company of Executives resignation, provided that the Company may set a termination date at any time between the date of notice and the date of resignation, in which case the Executives resignation shall be effective as of such other date. Executive will receive compensation through any required notice period; or
(v) for a termination for Good Reason, immediately upon Executives full satisfaction of the requirements of Section 6.1(f).
(b) In the event of a termination for Cause, written confirmation shall specify the subsection(s) of the definition of Cause relied on to support the decision to terminate.
6.7 Cooperation with Company after Termination of Employment. Following termination of Executives employment for any reason, Executive agrees to provide reasonable cooperation to the Company in connection with its actual or contemplated defense, prosecution, or investigation of any claims or demands by or against third parties, or other matters arising from events, acts, or failures to act that occurred during the period of Executives employment by the Company. Such cooperation includes, without limitation, making Executive available to the Company upon reasonable notice, without subpoena, to provide complete, truthful and accurate information in witness interviews, depositions and trial testimony. The Company will reimburse Executive for reasonable out-of-pocket expenses Executive incurs in connection with
any such cooperation (excluding forgone wages, salary, or other compensation) and will make reasonable efforts to accommodate Executives scheduling needs and for more than de minimis service, the parties will agree on a mutually agreeable per diem rate. In addition, in the event Executive is receiving Severance Benefits or Change in Control Severance Benefits, for twelve (12) months after Executives employment with the Company ends for any reason, Executive agrees to reasonably cooperate with the Company in all matters relating to the transition of Executives work and responsibilities on behalf of the Company, including, but not limited to, any present, prior or subsequent relationships and the orderly transfer of any such work and institutional knowledge to such other persons as may be designated by the Company. Such transition assistance described in the previous sentence shall not be subject to additional compensation, and the Company will make reasonable efforts to accommodate Executives scheduling needs.
6.8 Application of Section 409A. It is intended that all of the severance payments payable under this Agreement satisfy, to the greatest extent possible, the exemptions from the application of Section 409A of the Code and the regulations and other guidance thereunder and any state law of similar effect (collectively, Section 409A) provided under Treasury Regulations Sections 1.409A-1(b)(4) and 1.409A-1(b)(9), and this Agreement will be construed in a manner that complies with Section 409A. If not so exempt, this Agreement (and any definitions hereunder) will be construed in a manner that complies with Section 409A, and incorporates by reference all required definitions and payment terms. No severance payments will be made under this Agreement unless Executives termination of employment constitutes a separation from service (as defined under Treasury Regulation Section 1.409A-1(h)). For purposes of Section 409A (including, without limitation, for purposes of Treasury Regulations Section 1.409A-2(b)(2)(iii)), Executives right to receive any installment payments under this Agreement (whether severance payments or otherwise) shall be treated as a right to receive a series of separate payments and, accordingly, each installment payment hereunder shall at all times be considered a separate and distinct payment. If the Company determines that the severance benefits provided under this Agreement constitutes deferred compensation under Section 409A and if Executive is a specified employee of the Company, as such term is defined in Section 409A(a)(2)(B)(i) of the Code at the time of Executives Separation from Service, then, solely to the extent necessary to avoid the incurrence of the adverse personal tax consequences under Section 409A, the timing of the Severance will be delayed as follows: on the earlier to occur of (a) the date that is six months and one day after Executives Separation from Service, and (b) the date of Executives death (such earlier date, the Delayed Initial Payment Date), the Company will (i) pay to Executive a lump sum amount equal to the sum of the severance benefits that Executive would otherwise have received through the Delayed Initial Payment Date if the commencement of the payment of the severance benefits had not been delayed pursuant to this Section 6.8 and (ii) commence paying the balance of the severance benefits in accordance with the applicable payment schedule set forth in Section 6. No interest shall be due on any amounts deferred pursuant to this Section 6.8. To the extent that any Severance Benefits are deferred compensation under Section 409A of the Code, and are not otherwise exempt from the application of Section 409A, then, if the period during which Executive may consider and sign the Release spans two calendar years, the payment of any such Severance Benefit will not be made or begin until the later calendar year.
6.9 Section 280G. Notwithstanding any other provision of this Agreement to the contrary, if payments made or benefits provided pursuant to this Agreement or otherwise from the Company or any person or entity are considered parachute payments under Section 280G of the Code after the application of all exemptions available under Code Section 280G(b)(5)(A), then such parachute payments will be limited to the greatest amount that may be paid to Executive under Section 280G of the Code without causing any loss of deduction to the Company Group under such section, but only if, by reason of such reduction, the net after tax benefit to Executive will exceed the net after tax benefit if such reduction were not made. Net after tax benefit for purposes of this Agreement will mean the sum of (i) the total amounts payable to the Executive under this Agreement, plus (ii) all other payments and benefits which the Executive receives or then is entitled to receive from the Company or otherwise that would constitute a parachute payment within the meaning of Section 280G of the Code, less (iii) the amount of federal, state and local taxes payable with respect to the foregoing calculated at the maximum marginal income tax rate for each year in which the foregoing will be paid to Executive (based upon the rate in effect for such year as set forth in the Code at the time of termination of Executives employment), less (iv) the amount of excise taxes imposed with respect to the payments and benefits described in (i) and (ii) above by Section 4999 of the Code. The determination as to whether and to what extent payments are required to be reduced in accordance with this Section 6.9 will be made at the Companys expense by a nationally recognized certified public accounting firm or other professional services firm, in either case, as may be designated by the Company prior to a change in control (the Firm). In the event of any mistaken underpayment or overpayment under this Agreement, as determined by the Firm, the amount of such underpayment or overpayment will forthwith be paid to Executive or refunded to the Company, as the case may be, with interest at one hundred twenty (120%) of the applicable Federal rate provided for in Section 7872(f)(2) of the Code. Any reduction in payments required by this Section 6.9 will occur in the following order: (1) any cash severance, (2) cancellation of equity awards being taken into account at full value that were granted contingent on a change in ownership or control within the meaning of 280G of the Code in the reverse order of date of grant of the awards (that is, the most recently granted equity awards will be cancelled first); (3) any other cash amount payable to Executive, (4) any benefit valued as a parachute payment, (5) the acceleration of vesting of any equity awards that are options, and (6) the acceleration of vesting of any other equity awards. Within any such category of payments and benefits, a reduction will occur first with respect to amounts that are not deferred compensation within the meaning of Section 409A and then with respect to amounts that are. In the event that acceleration of compensation from equity awards is to be reduced, such acceleration of vesting will be canceled, subject to the immediately preceding sentence, in the reverse order of the date of grant.
7. General Provisions.
7.1 Notices. Any notices hereunder must be in writing and shall be deemed effectively given: (a) upon personal delivery to the party to be notified, (b) when sent by electronic mail if sent during normal business hours of the recipient, and if not, then on the next business day, (c) five (5) days after having been sent by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, postage prepaid, or (d) one (1) business day after timely deposit for next-business-day delivery with a nationally recognized overnight courier, specifying next-business-day delivery, with written verification of receipt. All communications shall be sent to the Company at its primary office location, or to email@example.com, and to Executive at either Executives address as listed on the Company payroll records, or Executives Company-issued email address, or at such other address as the Company or Executive may designate by ten (10) days advance written notice to the other.
7.2 Severability. Whenever possible, each provision of this Agreement will be interpreted in such manner as to be effective and valid under applicable law, but if any provision of this Agreement is held to be invalid, illegal or unenforceable in any respect under any applicable law or rule in any jurisdiction, such invalidity, illegality or unenforceability will not affect any other provision or any other jurisdiction, but this Agreement will be reformed, construed and enforced in such jurisdiction as if such invalid, illegal or unenforceable provisions had never been contained herein.
7.3 Survival. Provisions of this Agreement which by their terms must survive the termination of this Agreement in order to effectuate the intent of the parties will survive any such termination for such period as may be appropriate under the circumstances.
7.4 Waiver. If either party should waive any breach of any provisions of this Agreement, it shall not thereby be deemed to have waived any preceding or succeeding breach of the same or any other provision of this Agreement.
7.5 Complete Agreement. This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between Executive and the Company with regard to the subject matter hereof. This Agreement is the complete, final, and exclusive embodiment of their agreement with regard to this subject matter and supersedes any prior oral discussions or written communications and agreements, including the Prior Agreement. This Agreement is entered into without reliance on any promise or representation other than those expressly contained herein, and it cannot be modified or amended except in writing signed by Executive and an authorized officer of the Company. The parties have entered into a separate Proprietary Information Agreement and have or may enter into separate agreements related to equity. These separate agreements govern other aspects of the relationship between the parties, have or may have provisions that survive termination of Executives employment under this Agreement, may be amended or superseded by the parties without regard to this Agreement and are enforceable according to their terms without regard to the enforcement provision of this Agreement.
7.6 Counterparts. This Agreement may be executed in separate counterparts, any one of which need not contain signatures of more than one party, but all of which taken together will constitute one and the same Agreement. The parties agree that facsimile and scanned image copies of signatures, including DocuSign, will suffice as original signatures.
7.7 Withholding Taxes. The Company will be entitled to withhold from any payment due to Executive hereunder any amounts required to be withheld by applicable tax laws or regulations.
7.8 Headings. The headings of the sections hereof are inserted for convenience only and shall not be deemed to constitute a part hereof nor to affect the meaning thereof.
7.9 Successors and Assigns. The Company shall assign this Agreement and its rights and obligations hereunder in whole, but not in part, to any Company or other entity with or into which the Company may hereafter merge or consolidate or to which the Company may transfer all or substantially all of its assets, if in any such case said Company or other entity shall by operation of law or expressly in writing assume all obligations of the Company hereunder as fully as if it had been originally made a party hereto, but may not otherwise assign this Agreement or its rights and obligations hereunder. Executive may not assign or transfer this Agreement or any rights or obligations hereunder, other than to Executives estate upon Executives death.
7.10 Choice of Law. All questions concerning the construction, validity and interpretation of this Agreement will be governed by the laws of the State of California.
7.11 Dispute Resolution. The parties recognize that litigation in federal or state courts or before federal or state administrative agencies of disputes arising out of the Executives employment with the Company or out of this Agreement, or the Executives termination of employment or termination of this Agreement, may not be in the best interests of either the Executive or the Company, and may result in unnecessary costs, delays, complexities, and uncertainty. Except where prohibited by law, the parties agree that any dispute between the parties arising out of or relating to the negotiation, execution, performance or termination of this Agreement or the Executives employment, including, but not limited to, any claim arising out of this Agreement, claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1966, as amended, the Family Medical Leave Act, the Executive Retirement Income Security Act, and any similar federal, state or local law, statute, regulation, or any common law doctrine, whether that dispute arises during or after employment, shall be settled by binding arbitration in accordance with the National Rules for the Resolution of Employment Disputes of the American Arbitration Association. The location for the arbitration shall be in Alameda County, California. Any award made by such panel shall be final, binding and conclusive on the parties for all purposes, and judgment upon the award rendered by the arbitrators may be entered in any court having jurisdiction thereof. The arbitrators fees and expenses and all administrative fees and expenses associated with the filing of the arbitration shall be borne by the Company; provided however, that at the Executives option, Executive may voluntarily pay up to one-half the costs and fees. The parties acknowledge and agree that their obligations to arbitrate under this Section survive the termination of this Agreement and continue after the termination of the employment relationship between Executive and the Company. The parties each further agree that the arbitration provisions of this Agreement shall provide each party with its exclusive remedy, and each party expressly waives any right it might have to seek redress in any other forum, except as otherwise expressly provided in this Agreement. By election arbitration as the means for final settlement of all claims, the parties hereby waive their respective rights to, and agree not to, sue each other in any action in a Federal, State or local court with respect to such claims, but may seek to enforce in court an arbitration award rendered pursuant to this Agreement. The parties specifically agree to waive their respective rights to a trial by jury, and further agree that no demand, request or motion will be made for trial by jury.
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IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties have duly executed this Agreement as of the date first above written.
|RIGETTI HOLDINGS, INC.|
|By:||/s/ Chad Rigetti|
|Name: Chad Rigetti|
|/s/ Greg Peters|
[SIGNATURE PAGE TO EXECUTIVE EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT]