- Counsel, VLP Law Group focusing on emerging growth companies.
- Head of business development for J.Thelander Consulting, which provides statistics, analysis, trends and strategic compensation consulting to established and emerging client organizations.
- 16-plus years experience advising companies and their founders, with a particular focus on pre-IPO companies, through varied transactions, including equity compensation plan adoption, complex financings, mergers and acquisitions, and initial public offerings.
- Corporate and securities attorney at Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich& Rosati, working in both the Palo Alto and Seattle offices.
- Served as corporate counsel for Mozes, Inc. (acquired by HelloWorld, Inc.).
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Executive and Companywide Compensation Strategies
- Compensation is rising.
- Overall and generally, the market is demanding an increase in both equity and cash, particularly as you talk about compensation for key positions. More equity. More cash. More compensation.
- Companies are becoming much more structured in setting up compensation systems.
- Companies aren’t winging it anymore. We're seeing a lot more formal compensation structures being implemented by private companies, including in the tech arena where it used to be that compensation was set a little bit more by the seat of your pants. We’re seeing that companies are being asked to put compensation infrastructures in place, whether at the demand of their venture capital investors or in the course of going public or in the course of merger-and-acquisition transactions.
- There's a growing presence of corporate venture capital.
- More and more companies are relying on corporate venture capital for financing. The venture capital industry is in flux in many ways, and one of those is a significant increase in the number of companies that are investing in external startups that they doesn't own, without using a third-party investment fund.
It will be interesting to see how compensation models evolve in companies funded by corporate venture capital. Carried interest, the key component of compensation at venture capital firms, doesn’t quite work so well in the corporate model of venture capital as the corporate model doesn’t raise money from outside investors.
- We are seeing increasingly more information, especially through social media, about compensation.
People are finding compensation information now that was previously undisclosed. This information can be shared easily through various forms of social media. You can do a Google search and see what a CEO makes in a private company. And you can get other data. The risk is that it doesn’t mean it is good information for your company.
- Titles seems to hold more sway than job responsibilities.
- There is a growing trend among some employees to pay more attention to the title than to the job's specific responsibilities. Employers and employees alike should focus more on the job responsibilities, particularly in determining compensation.