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VOYAGER THERAPEUTICS, INC. | Voyager Therapeutics, Inc

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Title: EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT
Governing Law: Massachusetts     Date: 5/12/2016
Industry: Biotechnology and Drugs     Sector: Healthcare

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Exhibit 10.4 

EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT

This Employment Agreement (the “Agreement”) is made as of May 11, 2016 (the “Effective Date”) by and between Voyager Therapeutics, Inc. (the “Company”) and Robert G Pietrusko (the “Executive”). Except with respect to the Executive’s Confidentiality, Noncompetition and Assignment Agreement with the Company (the “Employee Agreement”) between the Company and the Executive, the Company’s 2014 Stock Option and Grant Plan and any applicable stock option and/or restricted stock agreements with the Company with respect to equity grants held by the Executive (collectively, the “Equity Documents,”) this Agreement supersedes, amends and restates in all respects all prior agreements and understandings between the Executive and the Company regarding the subject matter herein, including without limitation the May 13, 2014 offer letter provided to the Executive by the Company (the “Prior Offer Letter”).

1. Employment .  The Company and the Executive desire that their employment relationship be governed by this Agreement commencing as of the Effective Date and continuing in effect until terminated by either party in accordance with this Agreement. At all times, the Executive’s employment with the Company will continue to be “at-will,” meaning that the Executive’s employment may be terminated by the Company or the Executive at any time and for any reason, subject to the terms of this Agreement.

2. Duties .   The Executive will continue to serve as the Senior Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Quality Assurance of the Company and will have such powers and duties as may from time to time be prescribed by the Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer (the “CEO”).  The Executive shall devote the Executive’s full working time and efforts to the business and affairs of the Company and not engage in any other business activities without prior written approval by the Board of Directors (the “Board”) and provided that such activities do not create a conflict of interest or otherwise interfere with the Executive’s performance of the Executive’s duties to the Company.  Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Executive may serve (i) as Advisory Board Member, KinderPharm LLC or (ii) in religious, charitable or other community activities as long as such services and activities do not do not create a conflict of interest or otherwise interfere with the Executive’s performance of the Executive’s duties to the Company.  The normal place of work is Cambridge, MA. It is understood and agreed that the Executive will be on site in Cambridge, MA three (3) to four (4) days per week unless the Executive is traveling on behalf of the Company.   

 

3. Compensation and Related Matters .

(a) Base Salary .  The Executive’s annual base salary is $343,100, which is subject to review and redetermination by the Company from time to time. The annual base salary in effect at any given time is referred to herein as “Base Salary.” The Base Salary will be payable in a manner that is consistent with the Company’s usual payroll practices for senior executives.

 

(b) Bonus .  The Executive is eligible to participate in the Company’s Senior Executive Cash Incentive Bonus Plan, as approved by the Board or its Compensation


 

Committee from time to time.  The terms of the Incentive Bonus Plan shall be established and altered by the Board or its Compensation Committee in its or their sole discretion.  To earn any bonus, the Executive must be employed by the Company on the day such bonus is paid.    Both parties acknowledge and agree that any Bonus is not intended and shall not be deemed a “wage” under any state or federal wage-hour law.

(c) Equity .  The Executive’s rights in and eligibility for restricted stock and stock options (as applicable) will continue to be governed by the applicable Equity Documents.

 

(d) Employee Benefits .  The Executive will be entitled to continue to participate in the Company’s employee benefit plans, subject to the terms and the conditions of such plans and to the Company’s ability to amend and modify such plans.    The benefits made available by the Company, and the rules, terms, and conditions for participation in such benefit plans, may be changed by the Company at any time and from time to time without advance notice and without recourse by Executive.

(e) Relocation Assistance.   On an annual basis, the Company will provide the Executive with relocation assistance in the amount of $50,000.   This will be paid on a monthly basis, and it is expected to cover the Executive’s housing/hotel accommodations, flights to and from Boston, etc. Each monthly payment will be subject to customary deductions and withholdings as required by law. Should the Executive voluntarily leave the Company, other than for death or disability, within 12 months of receiving this payment, the Executive will be obligated to return the gross amount of the payment to the company within 30 days of your departure date.

 

(f) Reimbursement of Business Expenses.  The Company shall reimburse the Executive for travel, entertainment, business development and other expenses reasonably and necessarily incurred by the Executive in connection with the Company’s business.  Expense reimbursement shall be subject to such policies the Company may adopt from time to time, included with respect to pre-approval.

4. Certain Definitions .

 

(a) Cause ” means: (i) conduct by the Executive constituting a material act of misconduct in connection with the performance of the Executive’s duties, including, without limitation, misappropriation of funds or property of the Company or any of its subsidiaries or affiliates other than the occasional, customary and de minimis use of Company property for personal purposes; (ii) the commission by the Executive of (A) any felony; or (B) a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, deceit, dishonesty or fraud; (iii) any conduct by the Executive that would reasonably be expected to result in material injury or reputational harm to the Company or any of its subsidiaries and affiliates if the Executive were retained in the Executive’s position but providing that the Company reasonably determines that such conduct is capable of being  cured, only after receipt of written notice by Company reasonably describing such conduct and Executive fails to cease such conduct within fifteen (15) days of receipt of said written notice; (iv) continued non-performance by the Executive of the Executive’s responsibilities hereunder (other than by reason of the Executive’s physical or mental illness, incapacity or disability) but providing that the Company reasonably determines that such conduct is capable of being cured,


 

only after receipt of written notice by Company reasonably describing such non-performance and Executive fails to cure such non-performance within fifteen (15) days of receipt of said written notice; (v) a breach by the Executive of any confidentiality or restrictive covenant obligations to the Company, including under the Employee Agreement; (vi) a material violation by the Executive of any of the Company’s written employment policies; or (vii) failure to cooperate with a bona fide internal investigation or an investigation by regulatory or law enforcement authorities, after being instructed by the Company to cooperate, or the willful destruction or failure to preserve documents or other materials known to be relevant to such investigation or the inducement of others to fail to cooperate or to produce documents or other materials in connection with such investigation.

(b) Disabled ” means the Executive is unable to perform the essential functions of the Executive’s then existing position or positions (or is expected, based on a reasonable degree of medical certainty, to be unable to perform such functions) with or without reasonable accommodation.

 

(c) Good Reason ” means that the Executive has complied with the “Good Reason Process” (hereinafter defined) following the occurrence of any of the following events without the Executive’s consent: (A) a material diminution in the Executive’s responsibilities, authority or duties; (B) a material diminution in the Executive’s Base Salary except for across-the-board salary reductions based on the Company’s financial performance similarly affecting all or substantially all senior management employees of the Company; or (C) the relocation of the Executive’s principal place of business more than fifty (50) miles; or (D) the material breach of this Agreement by the Company. “Good Reason Process” means that (i) the Executive reasonably determines in good faith that a “Good Reason” condition has occurred; (ii) the Executive notifies the Company in writing of the first occurrence of the Good Reason condition within 60 days of the first occurrence of such condition; (iii) the Executive cooperates in good faith with the Company’s efforts, for a period not less than 30 days following such notice (the “Cure Period”), to remedy the condition; (iv) notwithstanding such efforts, the Good Reason condition continues to exist; and (v) the Executive terminates the Executive’s employment within 60 days after the end of the Cure Period.  If the Company cures the Good Reason condition during the Cure Period, Good Reason shall be deemed not to have occurred. 

(d) Sale Event ” means the consummation of (i) the sale of all or substantially all of the assets of the Company on a consolidated basis to an unrelated person or entity, (ii) a merger, reorganization or consolidation pursuant to which the holders of the Company’s outstanding voting power immediately prior to such transaction do not own a majority of the outstanding voting power of the surviving or resulting entity (or its ultimate parent, if applicable), (iii) the acquisition of all or a majority of the outstanding voting stock of the Company in a single transaction or a series of related transactions by a Person or group of Persons, (iv) a Deemed Liquidation Event (as defined in the Company’s Certificate of Incorporation (as may be amended, restated or otherwise modified from time to time)), or (v) any other acquisition of the business of the Company, as determined by the Board; provided, however, that the Company’s Initial Public Offering, any subsequent public offering or another capital raising event, or a merger effected solely to change the Company’s domicile shall not constitute a “Sale Event.”  Notwithstanding the foregoing, where required to avoid extra taxation


 

under Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code, a Sale Event must also satisfy the requirements of Treas. Reg. Section 1.409A-3(a)(5).

(e) Sale Event Period ” means the period ending twelve (12) months following the consummation of a Sale Event.

 

(f) Terminating Event ” means termination of the Executive’s employment by the Company without Cause or by the Executive for Good Reason.  A Terminating Event does not include: (i) the termination of the Executive’s employment due to the Executive’s death or a determination that the Executive is Disabled; (ii) the Executive’s resignation for any reason other than Good Reason, or (iii) the Company’s termination of the Executive’s employment for Cause. 

5. Compensation In Connection with a Termination for any Reason .  If the Executive’s employment with the Company is terminated for any reason, the Company shall pay or provide to the Executive (or to the Executive’s authorized representative or estate) any earned but unpaid base salary, unpaid expense reimbursements and accrued but unused vacation.

 

6. Severance and Accelerated Vesting if a Terminating Event Occurs within the Sale Event Period .  In the event a Terminating Event occurs within the Sale Event Period, subject to the Executive signing and complying with a separation agreement in a form and manner satisfactory to the Company containing, among other provisions, a general release of claims in favor of the Company and related persons and entities, confidentiality, return of property and non-disparagement and reaffirmation of the Employee Agreement (the “Separation Agreement and Release”) and the Separation Agreement and Release becoming irrevocable, all within 60 days after the Date of Termination, the following shall occur:

(a) the Company shall pay to the Executive an amount equal to the sum of 12 months the Executive’s Base Salary in effect immediately prior to the Terminating Event (or the Executive’s Base Salary in effect immediately prior to the Sale Event, if higher); 

 

(b) the Company shall pay to the Executive an amount equal to 100% of the prorata annual bonus target for the current year, based on the Date of Termination.

(c) if the Executive was participating in the Company’s group health plan immediately prior to the Date of Termination and elects COBRA health continuation, then subject to the Executive’s copayment of premium amounts at the active employees’ rate, the Company shall pay the remainder of the premiums for the Executive’s participation in the Company’s group health plans for 12 months or the Executive’s COBRA health continuation period, whichever ends earlier; and 

 

(d) 100% of all time-based equity awards held by the Executive shall immediately accelerate and become fully exercisable or nonforfeitable as of the Date of Termination.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, if the Executive’s employment is terminated in connection with a Sale Event and the Executive immediately becomes reemployed by any direct or indirect


 

successor to the business or assets of the Company, the termination of the Executive’s employment upon the Sale Event shall not be considered a termination without Cause for purposes of this Agreement.  

The amounts payable under Sections 6(a) and (b) shall be paid out in substantially equal installments in accordance with the Company’s payroll practice over 12 months commencing within 60 days after the Date of Termination; provided, however , that if the 60-day period begins in one calendar year and ends in a second calendar year, the severance shall begin to be paid in the second calendar year by the last day of such 60-day period; provided fur


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