Employment Agreement

Change-In-Control and Severance Agreement

EX-10.16 3 y74515exv10w16.htm EX-10.16: AMENDED AND RESTATED EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT

 

 

 

 

 

Exhibit 10.16

AMENDED AND RESTATED EMPLOYMENT AGREEMENT
Between
NRG Energy, Inc.
and
David W. Crane

     THIS AGREEMENT is made as of December 4, 2008, between NRG Energy, Inc. (the “Company”), and David W. Crane (“Executive”).

     WHEREAS, the Company has employed the Executive as its President and Chief Executive Officer since December 1, 2003, pursuant to the terms of an Employment Agreement which was amended as of March 3, 2006 (“Original Agreement”) and is scheduled to expire by its terms on December 31, 2008; and

     WHEREAS, the parties wish to extend and modify the Original Agreement to more accurately reflect current circumstances.

     NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the mutual covenants contained herein and other good and valuable consideration, the receipt and sufficiency of which are hereby acknowledged, the parties hereto agree as follows:

     1. Employment. The Company shall continue to employ Executive, and Executive hereby agrees to continue in employment with the Company, upon the terms and conditions set forth in this Agreement for the period beginning on December 4, 2008 (the “Effective Date”) and ending as provided in Section 5 hereof (the “Employment Period”).

     2. Position and Duties.

     (a) During the Employment Period, Executive shall serve as the President and Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) of the Company and shall have the normal duties, responsibilities, functions and authorities customarily exercised by the President and CEO of a company of similar size and nature as the Company. During the Employment Period, Executive shall render such administrative, financial and other executive and managerial services to the Company and its affiliates which are consistent with Executive’s position, as the Board of Directors of the Company (the “Board”) may from time to time direct.

     (b) During the Employment Period, Executive shall report to the Board and shall devote his best efforts and his full business time and attention (except for permitted vacation periods and reasonable periods of illness or other incapacity) to the business and affairs of the Company. Executive shall perform his duties, responsibilities and functions to the Company hereunder to the best of his abilities in a diligent, trustworthy, professional and efficient manner and shall comply with the Company’s policies and procedures in all material respects. In performing his duties and exercising his authority under this Agreement, Executive shall support and implement the business and strategic plans approved from time to time by the Board. During the Employment Period, Executive shall not serve as an officer or director of, or otherwise perform services for compensation for, any other entity without the prior written consent of the Board. Executive may serve as an officer or director of, or otherwise participate in, purely educational, welfare, social, religious and civic organizations so long as such activities

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do not interfere with Executive’s employment. Nothing contained herein shall preclude Executive from (i) engaging in charitable and community activities; (ii) participating in industry and trade organization activities; (iii) managing his and his family’s personal investments and affairs; and (iv) delivering lectures, fulfilling speaking engagements or teaching at educational institutions; provided, that such activities do not materially interfere with the regular performance of his duties and responsibilities under this Agreement.

     3. Compensation and Benefits.

     (a) Beginning on the Effective Date, and ending on December 31, 2008, Executive’s annual base salary shall be One Million One Hundred Thousand Dollars ($1,100,000.00). For each subsequent annual period thereafter, the Executive’s annual base salary shall be reviewed by the Board, which shall determine whether to grant an increase (such initial annual base salary and the annual base salary as determined and adjusted upward from time to time by the Board are referred to herein as the “Base Salary”). The Base Salary shall be payable by the Company in regular installments in accordance with the Company’s general payroll practices (in effect from time to time) but in any event no less frequently than monthly. For purposes of this Agreement, the Base Salary shall not include any other type of compensation or benefit paid or payable to the Executive.

     (b) Bonuses and Incentive Compensation.

     (i) Annual Bonus. Beginning for fiscal year 2008 and for each fiscal year thereafter during the Employment Period, based on achievement of criteria determined by the Board as soon as administratively practicable following the beginning of each such fiscal year with input from Executive, Executive will be entitled to an annual bonus with a target amount equal to 100% of the Executive’s then Base Salary (the “Annual Bonus”). The Company shall pay the Annual Bonus in a single cash lump-sum after the end of the Company’s fiscal year in accordance with procedures established by the Board, but in no event later than two and one-half months after the end of such fiscal year.

     (ii) Maximum Bonus. In addition to the Annual Bonus referenced in paragraph 3(b)(i), beginning for fiscal year 2008 and for each fiscal year thereafter during the Employment Period, based on achievement of criteria determined by the Board as soon as administratively practicable following the beginning of each such fiscal year with input from Executive, Executive shall be eligible to receive a “maximum bonus” in an amount up to, but not exceeding, 100% of Executive’s then Base Salary (the “Maximum Bonus”). The Company shall pay the Maximum Bonus in a single cash lump-sum following the end of the Company’s fiscal year in accordance with procedures established by the Board, but in no event later than two and one-half months after the end of such fiscal year.

     (iii) Long Term Incentive. The Company has previously provided Executive with a combination of restricted stock or units (“restricted stock”) and stock options that were defined as the “Executive LTIP” under Original Agreement (for purposes of this Agreement such awards shall also be referred to herein as the “Executive LTIP”), pursuant to paragraph 3(b)(iv) of the Original Agreement, which is incorporated herein by

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reference. The Executive LTIP shall be governed by the terms of paragraph 3(b)(iv) of the Original Agreement and the applicable award agreements entered into by the Company and the Executive. In addition, Executive shall be eligible to participate in the NRG Energy, Inc. Long-Term Incentive Plan, on such terms and conditions as are stated therein.

     (c) During the Employment Period, the Company shall promptly reimburse Executive for all reasonable business expenses incurred by him in the course of performing his duties and responsibilities under this Agreement which are consistent with the Company’s policies in effect from time to time with respect to travel, entertainment and other business expenses, subject to the Company’s requirements with respect to reporting and documentation of such expenses. During the Employment Period, the Company will promptly reimburse Executive for reasonable expenses incurred for annual tax return preparation, and ongoing tax advice and financial planning, and for reasonable legal expenses incurred in connection with negotiating this Agreement and the other agreements referred to herein; provided that such reimbursements must be made prior to the end of the calendar year following the calendar year in which such expense was incurred.

     (d) In addition to the Base Salary and any bonuses and incentives payable to Executive pursuant to this Section 3, Executive shall also be entitled to the following benefits during the Employment Period, unless otherwise modified by the Board:

     (i) participation in the Company’s retirement plans, health and welfare plans and disability insurance plans, under the terms of such plans and to the same extent and under the same conditions such participation and coverages are provided to other senior management of the Company;

     (ii) term life insurance with a death benefit of $7.75 million;

     (iii) prompt reimbursement of the costs, not to exceed $10,000 per year, Executive incurs in obtaining additional disability insurance coverage with a monthly disability benefit of up to $30,000;

     (iv) five weeks paid vacation each calendar year; and

     (v) coverage under the Company’s director and officer liability insurance policy.

     4. Board Membership. With respect to all regular elections of directors during the Employment Period, the Company shall nominate, and use its reasonable efforts to cause the election of, Executive to serve as a member of the Board. Effective upon the termination or expiration of the Employment Period, Executive shall resign as a director of the Company and its affiliates, as the case may be.

     5. Termination.

     (a) The Employment Period shall end on December 31, 2009, provided, however, that the Employment Period shall be automatically renewed for successive one-year terms

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thereafter on the same terms and conditions set forth herein unless either party provides the other party with notice that it has elected not to renew the Employment Period at least 90 days prior to the end of the initial Employment Period or any subsequent extension thereof. Notwithstanding the foregoing, (i) the Employment Period shall terminate immediately upon Executive’s resignation (with or without “Good Reason,” as defined in the Company’s Executive Change in Control and General Severance Plan, as in effect from time to time (the “Severance Plan”)), death or Disability (as defined herein) or (ii) the Employment Period may be terminated by the Company at any time prior to such date for “Cause” (as defined in the Severance Plan) or without Cause. Except as otherwise provided herein, any termination of the Employment Period by the Company shall be effective as specified in a written notice from the Company to Executive, but in no event more than 30 days from the date of such notice.

     (b) For purposes of this Agreement, the definition of Good Reason shall also include the following without Executive’s consent:

     (i) Any failure by the Company to comply with any of the provisions of this Agreement, other than any isolated, insubstantial and inadvertent failure not occurring in bad faith and which is remedied by the Company promptly after receipt of written notice thereof given by the Executive;

     (ii) Any failure to elect Executive to the Board at any regular election of directors during the Employment Period, or any removal of Executive from the Board, for any reason, during the Employment Period; or

     (iii) A change in reporting structure of the Company where Executive is required to report to someone other than the Board;

provided that in no event shall Executive have Good Reason to terminate his employment unless (A) Executive gives notice to the Company of the existence of the condition constituting Good Reason within 90 days of the initial existence of the condition; (B) the Company does not cure such condition within 30 days of its receipt of such notice; and (C) Executive actually terminates his employment within 180 days following the initial existence of the condition constituting Good Reason.

     6. Severance.

     (a) Termination without Cause or for Good Reason.

     (i) In the event of Executive’s termination of employment with the Company (i) by the Company without Cause, (ii) by Executive for Good Reason or (iii) if the Company notifies Executive pursuant to Section 5 that it has elected not to renew this Agreement after the initial term or any subsequent one-year term, Executive shall be entitled to the severance benefits set forth below in Section 6(a)(ii); provided, however, if such termination of employment or election of non-renewal occurs within twenty-four (24) months immediately following a Change in Control (as defined in the Severance Plan) of the Company, Executive shall in lieu of the severance benefits provided under Section 6(a)(ii) hereof become entitled to the severance benefits set forth below in Section 6(a)(iii).

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     (ii) As a condition to the payment of the following severance benefits, within 45 days of the Executive’s termination of employment, the Executive shall execute and deliver, and the applicable revocation period shall have expired with respect to, the “Release” in the form attached hereto as Exhibit A, in consideration for which the Company agrees to the following:

 

(A)

 

The Company shall pay Executive, upon the date that is 45 days following the termination of employment, a lump-sum cash payment in an amount equal to two times the Executive’s annual Base Salary (as in effect at the date of Executive’s termination determined without regard to any reduction in such Base Salary constituting Good Reason).

 

 

(B)

 

The Company shall pay Executive 50% of the Annual Bonus then in effect that Executive would have received based upon actual satisfaction of the underlying performance conditions through the end of the current bonus period, and further pro-rated for the number of days during such year that Executive was employed by the Company, with such bonus to be paid at the time such bonus would otherwise have been paid had Executive not been terminated;

 

 

(C)

 

All restricted stock, stock options and other equity awards granted under the Executive LTIP, described in paragraph 3(b)(iv) of the Original Agreement, shall vest in full on the date of such termination of employment, and all stock options shall continue to be exercisable for the remainder of their stated terms.

 

 

(D)

 

For eighteen (18) months from the date of termination (the “Benefits Continuation Period”), the Company shall reimburse the Executive for his cost to participate in COBRA benefits continuation coverage.

 

 

(E)

 

The Company shall pay Executive the amounts described in Section 6(d).

     (iii) As a condition to the payment of the following severance benefits, within 45 days of the Executive’s termination of employment, the Executive shall execute and deliver, and the applicable revocation period shall have expired with respect to, the “Release” in the form attached hereto as Exhibit A, in consideration for which the Company agrees to the following:

 

(A)

 

The Company shall pay Executive, upon the date that is 45 days after termination of employment, a lump-sum cash payment in an amount equal to two and ninety-nine one-hundredths (2.99) times the sum of the following: (x) Executive’s annual Base Salary (as in effect at the date of Executive’s termination determined without

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regard to any reduction in such Base Salary constituting Good Reason) and (y) Executive’s target Annual Bonus (excluding the Maximum Bonus but determined without regard to any reduction in such target Annual Bonus constituting Good Reason) for the year in which the termination of employment occurs.

 

(B)

 

The Company shall pay Executive the Annual Bonus then in effect that Executive would have received based upon actual satisfaction of the underlying performance conditions through the end of the current bonus period, and further pro-rated for the number of days during such year that Executive was employed by the Company, with such bonus to be paid at the time such bonus would otherwise have been paid had Executive not been terminated;

 

 

(C)

 

All restricted stock, stock options and other equity awards granted under the Executive LTIP, described in paragraph 3(b)(iv) of the Original Agreement, shall vest in full on the date of such termination of employment, and all stock options shall continue to be exercisable for the remainder of their stated terms.

 

 

(D)

 

For eighteen (18) months from the date of termination (the “Change in Control Benefits Continuation Period”), the Company shall reimburse the Executive for his cost to participate in COBRA benefits continuation coverage.

 

 

(E)

 

The Company shall pay Executive the amounts described in Section 6(d).

     (iv) Notwithstanding anything in this Section 6(a) to the contrary, the benefit reimbursement provided pursuant to Section 6(a)(ii)(D) and Section 6(a)(iii)(D) shall be discontinued prior to the end of the Benefits Continuation Period or Change in Control Benefits Continuation Period, as applicable, in the event Executive becomes eligible for benefits from a subsequent employer similar to those benefits Executive was receiving pursuant to his COBRA benefits continuation, as determined by the Company in good faith. Executive shall be deemed to have a duty to inform the Company as to the terms and conditions of any subsequent employment and the corresponding benefits earned from such employment, and shall provide, or cause to be provided, to the Company in writing correct, complete and timely information concerning the same.

     (v) Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, if Executive is a “specified employee” (within the meaning of Section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”)) as of his termination of employment, then to the extent necessary to comply with the requirements of Section 409A of the Code, no payments due Executive under this Section 6(a) shall be made earlier than the date that is six months following Executive’s termination of employment, at which time all payments that would otherwise have been made or provided to Executive within that six month period shall be paid to Executive in a lump sum.

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     (b) Termination for Cause or Voluntary Resignation. In the event Executive’s employment with the Company is terminated (i) by the Board for Cause (as defined herein), or (ii) by Executive’s resignation from the Company for any reason other than Good Reason or Disability the Company agrees to the following:

 

(A)

 

The Company shall pay Executive the amounts described in Section 6(d).

 

 

(B)

 

The Company shall treat all restricted stock, stock options and other equity awards outstanding under the Executive LTIP or any other Company equity plans in accordance with the terms of the plans or agreements under which such awards were created or maintained. If Executive resigns from the Company for any reason on or after November 10, 2006, all stock options granted under the Executive LTIP will remain exercisable for the remainder of their stated terms.

     (c) Death or Disability. In the event that Executive’s employment with the Company is terminated as a result of Executive’s death or Disability, the Company agrees to the following:

 

(A)

 

The Company shall pay Executive, or his estate or legal representative, within fifteen (15) days after such termination, a lump-sum payment in an amount equal to 50% of the target Annual Bonus then in effect (excluding the Maximum Bonus but determined without regard to any reduction in such target Annual Bonus constituting Good Reason) pro-rated for the number of days during such year that Executive was employed by the Company. Any stock options granted under the Executive LTIP that have vested will remain exercisable for the remainder of their stated terms.

 

 

(B)

 

The Company shall treat all stock options under the Executive LTIP or other equity under any other Company plans in accordance with the terms of the plans or agreements under which such awards were created or maintained.

 

 

(C)

 

The Company shall pay Executive the amounts described in Section 6(d).

For purposes of this Section 6(c), “Disability” shall mean “disabled” as defined in Section 409A(a)(2)(C) of the Code and the regulations promulgated thereunder. Executive shall cooperate in all respects with the Company if a question arises as to whether he has become disabled (including, without limitation, submitting to an examination by a medical doctor or other health care specialists selected by the Company and reasonably acceptable to Executive and authorizing such medical doctor or such other health care specialist to discuss Executive’s condition with the Company).

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     (d) In the case of any termination of Executive’s employment with the Company, Executive or his estate or legal representative shall be entitled to receive from the Company (i) Executive’s Base Salary through the date of termination to the extent not theretofore paid, (ii) to the extent not theretofore paid and not otherwise addressed in this Section 6, the amount of any bonus, incentive compensation, deferred compensation and other compensation earned or accrued by Executive as of the date of termination under any compensation and benefit plans, programs or arrangements maintained in force by the Company (for this purpose, Executive’s Annual Bonus, if any, for any fiscal year shall be deemed to have accrued on the last day of such fiscal year), (iii) any vacation pay, expense reimbursements and other cash entitlements accrued by Executive, in accordance with Company policy, as of the date of termination to the extent not theretofore paid, and (iv) all benefits accrued by Executive under all benefit plans and qualified and nonqualified retirement, pension, 401(k) and similar plans and arrangements of the Company, in such manner and at such time as are provided under the terms of such plans and arrangements. In the event Executive becomes entitled to receive the benefits described in Section 6(a) hereof, such benefits shall be in lieu of other compensation to which Executive may have been entitled pursuant to all other agreements and plans, including without limitation, the Severance Plan.

     (e) No Other Payments. Except as provided in (a), (b), (c) or (d) above, all of Executive’s rights to salary, bonuses, employee benefits and other compensation hereunder which would have accrued or become payable after the termination or expiration of the Employment Period shall cease upon such termination or expiration, other than those expressly required under applicable law.

     (f) No Mitigation, Et Cetera. In the event of Executive’s termination of employment for whatever reason or in the event of breach of this Agreement by the Company, Executive shall be under no obligation to seek other employment or to otherwise mitigate his damages.

     (g) Offset. The Company may offset, to the fullest extent of the law, any amounts due to the Company from the Executive, or advanced or loaned to the Executive by the Company, from any monies owed to Executive or Executive’s estate by reason of his termination of employment; provided that in no event will the payment of any amount that constitutes “deferred compensation” under Section 409A of the Code and the regulations promulgated thereunder be offset.

     (h) Limitations. Notwithstanding any other provision of Section 6 to the contrary, (i) to the extent any benefits provided pursuant to Section 6 during the first six months after Executive’s termination are not paid pursuant to a qualified plan, a bona fide sick leave or vacation plan, a disability plan, a death benefit plan or a plan providing medical expense reimbursements which are non-taxable or a separation pay plan (within the meaning of the regulations under Section 409A of the Code Section 409A) and Executive is a “specified employee” within the meaning of Section 409A of the Code, Executive shall pay the cost of such coverage during the first six months following termination and shall be reimbursed for the cost of such coverage six months after Executive’s termination.

     7. Indemnification.

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     (a) The Company agrees that (i) if Executive is made a party, or is threatened to be made a party, to any threatened or actual action, suit or proceeding, whether civil, criminal, administrative, investigative, appellate or other (each, a “Proceeding”) by reason of the fact that he is or was a director, officer, employee, agent, manager, consultant or representative of the Company or is or was serving at the, request of the Company as a director, officer, member, employee, agent, manager, consultant or representative of another entity or (ii) if any claim, demand, request, investigation, dispute, controversy, threat, discovery request or request for testimony or information (each, a “Claim”) is made, or threatened to be made, that arises out of or relates to Executive’s service in any of the foregoing capacities, then Executive shall promptly be indemnified and held harmless by the Company to the fullest extent legally permitted or authorized by the Company’s certificate of incorporation, bylaws or Board resolutions or, if greater, by the laws of the State of Delaware, against any and all costs, expenses, liabilities and losses (including, without limitation, attorney’s fees, judgments, interest, expenses of investigation, penalties, fines, ERISA excise taxes or penalties and amounts paid or to be paid in settlement) incurred or suffered by the Executive in connection therewith, and such indemnification shall continue as to Executive even if he has ceased to be a director, member, employee, agent, manager, consultant or representative of the Company or other entity and shall inure to the benefit of Executive’s heirs, executors and administrators. The Company shall advance to Executive all costs and expenses incurred by him in connection with any such Proceeding or Claim within 15 days after receiving written notice requesting such an advance. Such notice shall include, to the extent required by applicable law, an undertaking by Executive to repay the amount advanced if he is ultimately determined not to be entitled to indemnification against such costs and expenses.

     (b) Neither the failure of the Company (including the Board, independent legal counsel or stockholders) to have made a determination in connection with any request for indemnification or advancement under Section 7(a) that Executive has satisfied any applicable standard of conduct nor a determination by the Company (including the Board, independent legal counsel or stockholders) that Executive has not met any applicable standard of conduct, shall create a presumption that Executive has or has not met an applicable standard of conduct.

     8. Gross-up. In the event that any payment or benefit made or provided to or for the benefit of Executive in connection with this Agreement or his employment with the Company or the termination thereof (a “Payment”) is determined to be subject to any excise tax (“Excise Tax”) imposed by Section 4999 of the Code (or any successor to such Section), the Company shall pay to Executive, prior to the time any Excise Tax is payable with respect to such Payment (through withholding or otherwise), an additional amount (a “Gross-Up Payment”) which, after the imposition of all income, employment, excise and other taxes, penalties and interest thereon, is equal to the sum of (i) the Excise Tax on such Payment plus (ii) any penalty and interest assessments associated with such Excise Tax. The determination of whether any Payment is subject to an Excise Tax and, if so, the amount and time of any Gross-Up Payment pursuant to this Section 8 shall be made by an independent auditor (the “Auditor”) jointly selected by the parties and paid by the Company. Unless Executive agrees otherwise in writing, the Auditor shall be a nationally recognized United States public accounting firm that has not, during the two years preceding the date of its selection, acted in any way on behalf of the Company or any of its affiliates. If the parties cannot agree on the firm to

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serve as the Auditor, then the parties shall each select one accounting firm and those two firms shall jointly select the accounting firm to serve as the Auditor. The parties shall cooperate with each other in connection with any Proceeding or Claim relating to the existence or amount of any liability for Excise Tax. All expenses relating to any such Proceeding or Claim (including attorneys’ fees and other expenses incurred by Executive in connection therewith) shall be paid by the Company promptly upon demand by Executive, and any such payment shall be subject to a Gross-Up Payment under this Section 8 in the event that Executive is subject to Excise Tax on such payment. This Section 8 shall apply irrespective of whether a Change of Control has occurred. Any Gross-Up Payment or reimbursement for expenses relating to a Proceeding or Claim described in this Section 8 shall be made by the end of the calendar year following the calendar year in which the Executive remits the Excise Tax.

     9. Confidential Information.

     (a) Executive acknowledges that the information, observations and data (including trade secrets) obtained by him while employed by the Company concerning the business or affairs of the Company or any of its affiliates (“Confidential Information”) are the property of the Company or such affiliate. Therefore, except in the course of Executive’s duties to the Company or as may be compelled by law or appropriate legal process, Executive agrees that he shall not disclose to any person or entity or use for his own purposes any Confidential Information or any confidential or proprietary information of other persons or entities in the possession of the Company and its affiliates (“Third Party Information”), without the prior written consent of the Board, unless and to the extent that the Confidential Information or Third Parry Information becomes generally known to and available for use by the public other than as a result of Executive’s acts or omissions. Except in the course of Executive’s duties to the Company or as may be compelled by law or appropriate legal process, Executive will not, during his employment by the Company, or permanently thereafter, directly or indirectly use, divulge, disseminate, disclose, lecture upon, or publish any Confidential Information, without having first obtained written permission from the Board to do so. Executive shall deliver to the Company at the termination or expiration of the Employment Period, or at any other time the Company may reasonably request, all memoranda, notes, plans, records, reports, computer files, disks and tapes, printouts and software and other documents and data (and copies thereof) embodying or relating to Third Party Information, Confidential Information or the business of the Company, or its affiliates which he may then possess or have under his control. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Company hereby waives the right to assert an “inevitable disclosure” argument in any legal proceeding against Employee after the termination of his employment.

     (b) Executive shall be prohibited from using or disclosing any confidential information or trade secrets that Executive may have learned through any prior employment. If at any time during his employment with the Company or any of its affiliates, Executive believes he is being asked to engage in work that will, or will be likely to, jeopardize any confidentiality, or other obligations Executive may have to former employers, Executive shall immediately advise the Board so that Executive’s duties can be modified appropriately. Executive represents and warrants to the Company that Executive took nothing with him which belonged to any former employer when Executive left his prior position and that Executive has nothing that contains any information which belongs to any former employer. If at any time Executive discovers this is incorrect, Executive shall promptly return any such materials to Executive’s former employer. The Company does not want any such materials, and Executive shall not be

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permitted to use or refer to any such materials in the performance of Executive’s duties hereunder.

     10. Intellectual Property, Inventions and Patents. Executive acknowledges that all discoveries, concepts, ideas, inventions, innovations, improvements, developments, methods, trade secrets, designs, analyses, drawings, reports, patent applications, copyrightable work and mask work (whether or not including any confidential information) and all registrations or applications related thereto, all other proprietary information and all similar or related information (whether or not patentable) which may relate to the Company’s or any of its affiliates’ actual or anticipated business, research and development or existing or future products or services and which are conceived, developed or made by Executive (whether alone or jointly with others) while employed by the Company and its affiliates (“Work Product”), belong to the Company or such affiliate. Executive shall promptly disclose such Work Product to the Board and, at the Company’s expense, perform all actions reasonably requested by the Board (whether during or after the Employment Period) to establish and confirm such ownership (including, without limitation, assignments, consents, powers of attorney and other instruments). Executive acknowledges that all applicable Work Product shall be deemed to constitute “works made for hire” under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, as amended. To the extent any Work Product is not deemed a work made for hire, then Executive hereby assigns to the Company or such affiliate all right, title and interest in and to such Work Product, including all related intellectual property rights.

     11. Non-Compete, Non-Solicitation.

     (a) In further consideration of the compensation to be paid to Executive hereunder, Executive acknowledges that during the course of his employment with the Company and its affiliates he shall become familiar with the Company’s trade secrets and with other Confidential Information concerning the Company and its affiliates and that his services shall be of special, unique and extraordinary value to the Company and its affiliates, and therefore, Executive agrees that, during the Employment Period and for one (1) year thereafter (the “Noncompete Period”), he shall not directly or indirectly own any interest in, manage, control, participate in, consult with, render services for, be employed in an executive, managerial or administrative capacity by, or in any manner engage in any company engaged in a business that competes with any businesses of the Company or its affiliates, as such businesses exist or are in process during the Employment Period or on the date of the termination or expiration of the Employment Period within any geographical area in which the Company or its affiliates engage or have definitive plans to engage in such businesses. Nothing herein shall prohibit Executive from being a passive owner of not more than 2% of the outstanding stock of any class of a corporation which is publicly traded, so long as Executive has no active participation in the business of such corporation. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the provisions of this Section 11(a) shall not apply in the case of any material breach of the Company’s obligations under Section 6 or Section 7 which remains uncured for more than twenty (20) days after notice is received from Executive of such breach, which such notice shall include a detailed description of the grounds constituting such breach.

     (b) During the Noncompete Period, Executive shall not directly or indirectly through another person or entity (i) induce or attempt to induce any employee of the Company or any of its affiliates to leave the employ of the Company or such affiliate, or in any way interfere with

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the relationship between the Company or any affiliate and any employee thereof, (ii) hire any person who was an employee of the Company or any affiliate during the last six months of the Employment Period; or (iii) induce or attempt to induce any customer, supplier, licensee, licensor, franchisee or other business relation of the Company or any affiliate to cease doing business with the Company or such affiliate, or in any way interfere with the relationship between any such customer, supplier, licensee or business relation and the Company or any affiliate (including, without limitation, making any negative or disparaging statements or communications regarding the Company or its affiliates).

     (c) If, at the time of enforcement of this Section 11, a court shall hold that the duration, scope or area restrictions stated herein are unreasonable under circumstances then existing, the parties agree that the maximum duration, scope or area reasonable under such circumstances shall be substituted for the stated duration, scope or area and that the court shall be allowed to revise the restrictions contained herein to cover the maximum period, scope and area permitted by law. Executive acknowledges that the restrictions contained in this Section 11 are reasonable and that he has reviewed the provisions of this Agreement with his legal counsel.

     (d) In the event of the breach or a threatened breath by Executive of any of the provisions of this Section 11, the Company would suffer irreparable harm, and in addition and supplementary to other rights and remedies existing in its favor, the Company shall be entitled to specific performance and/or injunctive or other equitable relief from a court of competent jurisdiction in order to enforce or prevent any violations of the provisions hereof (without posting a bond or other security). In addition, in the event of a breach or violation by Executive of Section 11(a), the Noncompete Period shall be automatically extended by the amount of time between the initial occurrence of the breach or violation and when such breach or violation has been duly cured.

     12. Executive’s Representations. Executive hereby represents and warrants to the Company that (i) the execution, delivery and performance of this Agreement by Executive do not and shall not conflict with, breach, violate or cause a default under any contract, agreement, instrument, order, judgment or decree to which Executive is a party or by which he is bound which has not been waived, (ii) Executive is not a party to or bound by any employment agreement, noncompete agreement or confidentiality agreement with any other person or entity which has not been waived, and (iii) on the Effective Date, this Agreement shall be the valid and binding obligation of Executive, enforceable in accordance with its terms. Executive hereby acknowledges and represents that he has consulted with independent legal counsel regarding his rights and obligations under this Agreement and that he fully understands the terms and conditions contained herein.

     13. Survival. Sections 5 through 28, inclusive, shall survive and continue in full force in accordance with their terms notwithstanding the expiration or termination of the Employment Period.

     14. Notices. Any notice, communication or request provided for in this Agreement shall be in writing and shall be either personally delivered (with a written acknowledgement of receipt), sent by nationally recognized overnight courier service (with a written

12


 

acknowledgement of receipt by the overnight courier) or mailed by certified or registered mail, return receipt requested, to the recipient at the address below indicated:

     Notices to Executive:

David Crane
Orchard Hill
3071 Lawrenceville Road
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648

Notices to the Company:

Denise Wilson
Chief Administrative Officer
NRG Energy, Inc.
211 Carnegie Center
Princeton, NJ 08540

J. Andrew Murphy
EVP, General Counsel
NRG Energy, Inc.
211 Carnegie Center
Princeton, NJ 08540

or such other address or to the attention of such other person as the recipient party shall have specified by ten (10) days prior written notice to the sending party. Any notice under this Agreement shall be deemed to have been given when (i) when personally delivered, (ii) two (2) days after being sent by overnight courier or (iii) three (3) days after mailing by certified or registered mail.

     15. Severability. Whenever possible, each provision of this Agreement shall 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 shall not affect any other provision of this Agreement or any action in any other jurisdiction, but this Agreement shall be reformed, construed and enforced in such jurisdiction as if such, invalid, illegal or unenforceable provision had never been contained herein.

     16. Complete Agreement. This Agreement, those documents expressly referred to herein and other documents of even date herewith embody the complete agreement and understanding among the parties and supersede and preempt any prior understandings, agreements or representations by or among the parties, written or oral, which may have related to the subject matter hereof in any way. For the sake of clarity, except as otherwise specifically provided herein, this Agreement supersedes the Original Agreement.

     17. No Strict Construction. The language used in this Agreement shall be deemed to be the language chosen by the parties hereto to express their mutual intent, and no rule of strict construction shall be applied against any party.

13


 

     18. Counterparts. This Agreement may be executed in separate counterparts, each of which is deemed to be an original and all of which taken together constitute one and the same agreement.

     19. Successors and Assigns. This Agreement shall be binding upon and inure to the benefit of the beneficiaries, heirs and representatives of Executive and the successors and assigns of the Company. The Company shall require any successor (whether direct or indirect, by purchase, merger, reorganization, consolidation, acquisition of property or stock, liquidation, or otherwise) to all or a majority of its assets, by agreement in form and substance satisfactory to Executive, expressly to assume and agree to perform this Agreement in the same manner and to the same extent that the Company would be required to perform this Agreement if no such succession had taken place. Regardless whether such agreement is executed, this Agreement shall be binding upon any successor of the Company in accordance with the operation of law and such successor shall be deemed the “Company” for purposes of this Agreement. Executive may not assign his rights (except by will or the laws of descent and distribution) or delegate his duties or obligations hereunder. Except as provided by this Section 19, this Agreement is not assignable by any party and no payment to be made hereunder shall be subject to anticipation, alienation, sale, transfer, assignment, pledge, encumbrance or other charge.

     20. Choice of Law. All issues and questions concerning the construction, validity, enforcement and interpretation of this Agreement and the exhibits and schedules hereto shall be governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of the State of Delaware, without giving effect to any choice of law or conflict of law rules or provisions (whether of the State of Delaware or any other jurisdiction) that would cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of Delaware.

     21. Amendment and Waiver. The provisions of this Agreement may be amended, modified or waived only with the prior written consent of the Company and Executive, and no course of conduct or course of dealing or failure or delay by any party hereto in enforcing or exercising any of the provisions of this Agreement (including, without limitation, the Company’s right to terminate the Employment Period for Cause) shall affect the validity, binding effect or enforceability of this Agreement or be deemed to be an implied waiver of any provision of this Agreement.

     22. Insurance. The Company may, at its discretion, apply for and procure in its own name and for its own benefit life and/or disability insurance on Executive in any amount or amounts considered advisable. Executive agrees to cooperate in any medical or other examination, supply any information and execute and deliver any applications or other instruments in writing as may be reasonably necessary to obtain and constitute such insurance. Executive hereby represents that he has no reason to believe that his life is not insurable at rates now prevailing for healthy men of his age.

     23. Indemnification and Reimbursement of Payments on Behalf of Executive. The Company and its affiliates shall be entitled to deduct or withhold from any amounts owing from the Company or any of its affiliates to Executive any federal, state, local or foreign withholding taxes, excise tax, or employment taxes (“Taxes”) imposed with respect to Executive’s compensation or other payments from the Company or any of its affiliates or Executive’s ownership interest in

14


 

the Company (including, without limitation, wages, bonuses, dividends, the receipt or exercise of equity options and/or the receipt or vesting of restricted equity). In the event the Company or any of its affiliates does not make such deductions or withholdings at the written request of the Executive, Executive shall indemnify the Company and its affiliates for any amounts paid with respect to any such Taxes, together with any interest, penalties and related expenses thereto.

     24. Consent to Jurisdiction. EACH OF THE PARTIES IRREVOCABLY SUBMITS TO THE EXCLUSIVE JURISDICTION OF THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF DELAWARE, FOR THE PURPOSES OF ANY SUIT, ACTION OR OTHER PROCEEDING ARISING OUT OF THIS AGREEMENT, ANY RELATED AGREEMENT OR ANY TRANSACTION CONTEMPLATED HEREBY OR THEREBY. EACH OF THE PARTIES HERETO FURTHER AGREES THAT SERVICE OF ANY PROCESS, SUMMONS, NOTICE OR DOCUMENT IN COMPLIANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF PARAGRAPH 14 (NOTICE) SHALL BE EFFECTIVE SERVICE OF PROCESS FOR ANY ACTION, SUIT OR PROCEEDING WITH RESPECT TO ANY MATTERS TO WHICH IT HAS SUBMITTED TO JURISDICTION IN THIS SECTION 24. EACH OF THE PARTIES HERETO IRREVOCABLY AND UNCONDITIONALLY WAIVES ANY OBJECTION TO THE LAYING OF VENUE OF ANY ACTION, SUIT OR PROCEEDING ARISING OUT OF THIS AGREEMENT, ANY RELATED DOCUMENT OR THE TRANSACTIONS CONTEMPLATED HEREBY AND THEREBY IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF DELAWARE, AND HEREBY AND THEREBY FURTHER IRREVOCABLY AND UNCONDITIONALLY WAIVES AND AGREES NOT TO PLEAD OR CLAIM IN ANY SUCH COURT THAT ANY SUCH ACTION, SUIT OR PROCEEDING BROUGHT IN ANY SUCH COURT HAS BEEN BROUGHT IN AN INCONVENIENT FORUM.

     25. Waiver of Jury Trial. AS A SPECIFICALLY BARGAINED FOR INDUCEMENT FOR EACH OF THE PARTIES HERETO TO ENTER INTO THIS AGREEMENT (AFTER HAVING THE OPPORTUNITY TO CONSULT WITH COUNSEL), EACH PARTY HERETO EXPRESSLY WAIVES THE RIGHT TO TRIAL BY JURY IN ANY LAWSUIT OR PROCEEDING RELATING TO OR ARISING IN ANY WAY FROM THIS AGREEMENT OR THE MATTERS CONTEMPLATED HEREBY.

     26. Corporate Opportunity. During the Employment Period, Executive shall submit to the Board all business, commercial and investment opportunities or offers presented to Executive that relate to the business of the Company or its affiliates (“Corporate Opportunities”), if Executive wishes to accept or pursue, directly or indirectly, such Corporate Opportunities on Executive’s own behalf. This Section 26 shall not apply to purchases of publicly traded stock by Executive.

     27. Legal Costs. Except as otherwise agreed to by the parties, the Company shall pay the Executive for costs of litigation or other disputes during Executive’s lifetime including, without limitation, reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred by Executive in asserting any claims or defenses under this Agreement, except that Executive shall bear his own costs of such litigation or disputes (including, without limitation attorneys’ fees) if the court finds in favor of the Company with respect to any claims or defenses asserted by the Executive.

15


 

     28. Executive’s Cooperation. During the Employment Period and thereafter, Executive shall cooperate with the Company and its affiliates, upon the Company’s reasonable request, with respect to any internal, investigation or administrative, regulatory or judicial proceeding involving matters within the scope of Executive’s duties and responsibilities to the Company during the Employment Period (including, without limitation, Executive being available to the Company upon reasonable notice for interviews and factual investigations, appearing at the Company’s reasonable request to give testimony without requiring service of a subpoena or other legal process, and turning over to the Company all relevant Company documents which are or may come into Executive’s possession during the Employment Period); provided, however, that any such request by the Company shall not be unduly burdensome or interfere with Executive’s personal schedule or ability to engage in gainful employment. In the event the Company requires Executive’s cooperation in accordance with this Section 28, the Company shall reimburse Executive for reasonable out-of-pocket expenses (including travel, lodging and meals) incurred by Executive during Executive’s lifetime in connection with such cooperation, subject to reasonable documentation. In addition, the Company shall compensate Executive at a rate of $500 per hour for the time in excess of one business day, per occurrence or event, that Executive reasonably spends complying with his obligations under this Section after the expiration of the Employment Period.

     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have executed this Agreement as of the date first written above.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NRG ENERGY, INC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By:

 

/s/ Howard Cosgrove

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Howard Cosgrove

 

 

 

 

 

 

Board Chairman

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

/s/ David W. Crane

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David W. Crane

 

 

 

 

 

 

President & CEO

 

 

16


 

EXHIBIT A
GENERAL RELEASE

     In consideration of the payments and benefits (the “Severance Payment”) paid or to be paid to me pursuant to and in accordance with the terms of my Employment Agreement with NRG Energy, Inc. dated December 4, 2008 (the “Agreement”), on behalf of myself, my heirs, executors, administrators, successors, and assigns, I hereby fully and forever RELEASE and DISCHARGE NRG ENERGY, INC., its affiliates and their officers, directors, agents, employees, representatives, successors and assigns (hereinafter, collectively called the “Company”), from any and all claims and causes of action arising out of or relating in any way to my employment with the Company, including, but not limited to, the offer of employment and termination of my employment, and I agree that I will not in any manner institute, prosecute or pursue any complaints, claims, charges, liabilities, claims for relief, demands, suits, actions or causes of action against the Company that are covered by this RELEASE.

     Notwithstanding the foregoing, expressly excluded from this RELEASE are any claims or causes of action which I may have (i) seeking enforcement of my rights under the Agreement, including, without limitation, Sections 6, 7, 8 and 27 thereof, or any other plan, policy or arrangement of the Company, (ii) seeking to obtain contribution as permitted by applicable law in the event of the entry of judgment against me as a result of any act or failure to act for which both I and the Company are held to be jointly liable, (iii) arising out of or relating in any way to acts or omissions after the date of this RELEASE or otherwise not covered by this RELEASE, and (iv) which cannot be waived by law. I shall also retain the right to seek indemnification from the Company, to the extent permitted under applicable law and Section 7 of the Agreement.

     1. I understand and agree that, except as specifically provided above, this RELEASE is a full and complete waiver of all claims relating to my employment with the Company, including, but not limited to, claims of wrongful discharge, breach of contract, breach of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing, violation of public policy, defamation, personal injury and emotional distress, 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, as amended by the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act of 1990, the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, any of the Delaware State employment, discrimination or wage payment laws, the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, as amended, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended, claims arising from any legal restrictions on the Company’s right to terminate employees (including, without limitation, claims arising under various contract, tort, public policy or wrongful discharge theories under any federal, state or local law, or under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act of 1988, as amended, or any similar state or local law), and any claims for attorney’s fees or costs.

     2. I understand that I have received or will receive, regardless of the execution of this RELEASE, all amounts due to me pursuant to Sections 6(d), 7 and 8 of the Agreement. I further understand and agree that the Company will not provide me with any additional payments or benefits under the Agreement (including, without limitation, payments under Section 6(a) of the Agreement) unless I execute this RELEASE. In consideration of the execution of this

A-1


 

RELEASE, I will receive additional payments and benefits specified in Section 6(a) of the Agreement.

     3. In addition, and in further consideration of the foregoing, I acknowledge and agree that if I hereafter discover facts different from or in addition to those which I now know or believe to be true that this RELEASE shall be and remain effective in all respects notwithstanding such different or additional facts or the discovery thereof. I understand that this RELEASE does not waive or release any rights or claims that I may have under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended, which arise after the date I sign this RELEASE.

     4. As part of my existing and continuing obligation to the Company, I have returned or, within seven (7) days of my termination will return to the Company all Confidential Information and Third Party Information (as such terms are defined in the Agreement) in accordance with the terms of the Agreement. I affirm my obligation to keep all Confidential Information confidential and not to disclose it to any third party as required by Section 9 of the Agreement.

     5. I agree not to disclose, either directly or indirectly, any information whatsoever regarding (i) any of the terms or the existence of this RELEASE and my benefits under the Agreement or (ii) any other claim I may have against the Company, to any person or organization, including but not limited to members of the press and media, present and former employees of the Company, companies who do business with the Company; or other members of the public. Notwithstanding the preceding sentence, I may reveal such terms of this RELEASE and the Severance Payment to my spouse, accountants or attorneys or as are necessary to comply with a request made by the Internal Revenue Service, as otherwise compelled by a court or agency of competent jurisdiction, as allowed and/or required by law.

     6. This RELEASE shall be governed by the laws of the State of Delaware.

     7. This RELEASE contains the entire agreement between the Company and me with respect to any matters referred to in the RELEASE and shall supersede any all other agreements, whether written or oral, with respect to such matters. I understand and agree that this RELEASE shall not be deemed or construed at any time as an admission of liability or wrongdoing by either myself or the Company. Notwithstanding the foregoing, it is understood and agreed that my termination will be treated for all purposes as a termination without Cause or for Good Reason under Section 6(a) of the Agreement and that I shall be entitled to all payments and benefits under the Agreement consistent with such a termination.

     8. If any one or more of the provisions contained in this RELEASE is, for any reason, held to be unenforceable, that holding will not affect any other provision of this RELEASE, but, with respect only to the jurisdiction holding the provision to be unenforceable, this RELEASE shall then be construed as if such unenforceable provision or provisions had never been contained therein.

A-2


 

     9. Before executing this RELEASE, I obtained sufficient information to intelligently exercise my own judgment about the terms of the RELEASE. The Company has informed me in writing to consult an attorney before signing this RELEASE, if I wish.

     I also understand for a period of fifteen (15) days after I sign this RELEASE, I may revoke this RELEASE and that the RELEASE will not become effective until fifteen (15) days after I sign it, and only then if I do not revoke it. In order to revoke this RELEASE, I must deliver, or cause to be delivered, to Denise Wilson; VP, Human Resources by First Class mail or facsimile 609-524-4530, by no later than fifteen (15) days after I execute this RELEASE, a letter stating that I am revoking it.

     10. My severance and other termination benefits under the Agreement will be paid in accordance with the terms of the Agreement. If I choose to revoke this RELEASE within fifteen (15) days after I sign it, such benefits will not be due and payable, and the RELEASE will have no effect.

     11. If I fail to comply with my agreement not to institute, prosecute or pursue any complaints, claims, charges, liabilities, claims for relief, demands suits or causes of actions against the Company (except as set forth in the second unnumbered paragraph at the beginning of this Release above, including, without limitation, any claims or causes of actions I may have as a result of any acts or omissions that occur after the date of this Release), or if I materially and willfully fail to comply with the terms of Section 4 and 5 of this RELEASE, I will forfeit the additional payments and benefits due under the Agreement.

A-3


 

EMPLOYEE’S ACCEPTANCE OF RELEASE

BEFORE SIGNING MY NAME TO THIS RELEASE, I STATE THAT: I HAVE READ IT; UNDERSTAND IT AND KNOW THAT I AM GIVING UP IMPORTANT RIGHTS; I AM AWARE OF MY RIGHT TO CONSULT WITH AN ATTORNEY BEFORE SIGNING IT; AND I HAVE SIGNED IT KNOWINGLY AND VOLUNTARILY. EXCEPT FOR THE MATTERS EXPRESSLY STATED IN THIS RELEASE, THE COMPANY HAS NEITHER MADE ANY REPRESENTATION NOR OFFERED ME ANY INDUCEMENT TO SIGN THIS RELEASE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David W. Crane
President & CEO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Date:

Agreed to and accepted:

NRG ENERGY, INC.

 

 

 

By:

 

 

 

 

Howard Cosgrove
Board Chairman

 

EX-10.40 12 y74515exv10w40.htm EX-10.40: EXECUTIVE CHANGE-IN-CONTROL AND GENERAL SEVERANCE AGREEMENT

Exhibit 10.40

NRG Energy, Inc.

Executive Change-in-Control
and General Severance Plan

(Amended and Restated December 9, 2008)

 


 

Contents

 

 

 

 

 

Article 1. Establishment and Term of the Plan

 

 

1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article 2. Definitions

 

 

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article 3. Severance Benefits

 

 

6

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article 4. Confidentiality and Noncompetition

 

 

10

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article 5. Excise Tax Equalization Payment

 

 

12

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article 6. Legal Fees and Notice

 

 

13

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article 7. Successors and Assignment

 

 

13

 

 

 

 

 

 

Article 8. Miscellaneous

 

 

14

 

 i

 


 

NRG Energy, Inc.
Executive Change-in-Control
and General Severance Plan for Tier I and Tier II Executives

Article 1. Establishment and Term of the Plan

     1.1 Establishment of the Plan. NRG Energy, Inc. (hereinafter referred to as the “Company”) adopted the NRG Executive & Key Management Change-in-Control & General Severance Plan effective May 24, 2006, which was amended and restated on April 25, 2007 (the “Original Plan”). The Company hereby continues the Original Plan, effective December 9, 2008 as applied to Tier I and Tier II Executives, as amended and restated as set forth herein. This amended plan is to be known as the “NRG Energy, Inc. Executive Change-in-Control and General Severance Plan” (the “Plan”). The Plan provides severance benefits to certain employees of the Company (each an “Executive” and collectively the “Executives”) upon certain terminations of employment from the Company.

     The Company considers the establishment and maintenance of a sound and vital management to be essential to protecting and enhancing the best interests of the Company and its stockholders. In this connection, the Company recognizes that, as is the case with many publicly held corporations, the possibility of a change in control may arise and that such possibility, and the uncertainty and questions which it may raise among management, may result in the departure or distraction of management personnel to the detriment of the Company and its stockholders.

     Accordingly, the Board has determined that appropriate steps should be taken to reinforce and encourage the continued attention and dedication of members of the Company’s management to their assigned duties without distraction in circumstances arising from the possibility of a Change in Control of the Company.

     1.2 Initial Term. This Plan will commence on May 24, 2006 (the “Effective Date”) and shall continue in effect for a period of three (3) years (the “Initial Term”).

     1.3 Successive Periods. The term of this Plan shall automatically be extended for one (1) additional year at the end of the Initial Term, and then again after each successive one (1) year period thereafter (each such one (1) year period following the Initial Term is referred to as a “Successive Period”). However, the Committee may terminate this Plan at the end of the Initial Term, or at the end of any Successive Period thereafter, by giving the Executives written notice of intent to terminate the Plan, delivered at least six (6) months prior to the end of such Initial Term or Successive Period. If such notice is properly delivered by the Company, this Plan, along with all corresponding rights, duties, and covenants, shall automatically expire at the end of the Initial Term or Successive Period then in progress.

     1.4 Change-in-Control Renewal. Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 1.3 above, in the event that a Change in Control of the Company occurs during the Initial Term or any Successive Period, upon the effective date of such Change in Control, the term of this Plan shall automatically and irrevocably be renewed for a period of two (2) years from the effective date of such Change in Control. Further, this Plan may be assigned to the successor in such Change in Control, as further provided in Article 8 herein. This Plan shall thereafter

 


 

automatically terminate following such two (2) year Change-in-Control renewal period; provided that such termination shall not affect or diminish the rights of Executives who become entitled to benefits or payments under this Plan.

Article 2. Definitions

     Whenever used in this Plan, the following terms shall have the meanings set forth below and, when the meaning is intended, the initial letter of the word is capitalized.

 

(a)

 

Base Salary” means the greater of the Executive’s annual rate of salary, whether or not deferred, at: (i) the Effective Date of Termination or (ii) at the date of the Change in Control.

 

 

(b)

 

Beneficiary” means the persons or entities designated or deemed designated by the Executive pursuant to Section 8.6 herein.

 

 

(c)

 

Board” means the Board of Directors of the Company.

 

 

(d)

 

Cause” shall mean one or more of the following:

 

(i)

 

The conviction of, or an agreement to a plea of nolo contendere to, any felony or other crime involving moral turpitude; or

 

 

(ii)

 

The Executive’s willful and continuing refusal to substantially perform duties as reasonably directed by the Board under this or any other agreement (after receipt of written notice from the Board setting forth such duties and responsibilities to be performed); or

 

 

(iii)

 

In carrying out the Executive’s duties, the Executive engages in conduct that constitutes willful gross neglect or willful gross misconduct which, in either case, results in demonstrable harm to the business, operations, prospects, or reputation of the Company; or

 

 

(iv)

 

Any other material breach of Article 4 of this Plan which is not cured to the Board’s reasonable satisfaction within fifteen (15) days after written notice thereof to the Executive.

 

 

 

 

For purposes of this Plan, there shall be no termination for Cause pursuant to subsections (i) through (iv) above, unless a written notice, containing a detailed description of the grounds constituting Cause hereunder, is delivered to the Executive stating the basis for the termination. Upon receipt of such notice, the Executive shall be given thirty (30) days to fully cure and remedy the neglect or conduct that is the basis of such claim. If the Executive fails to fully cure and remedy such neglect or misconduct within such thirty (30) day period, the Executive shall have an opportunity to be heard before the full Board. After such hearing, a termination for Cause shall only occur if there is a vote of three-quarters (3/4) of the Board to terminate the Executive for Cause.

2


 

 

(e)

 

Change in Control” shall mean the first to occur of any of the following events:

 

(i)

 

Any “person” (as that term is used in Sections 13 and 14(d)(2) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”)) becomes the “Beneficial Owner” (as that term is used in Section 13(d) of the Exchange Act), directly or indirectly, of fifty percent (50%) or more of the Company’s capital stock entitled to vote in the election of directors, excluding any “person” who becomes a “beneficial owner” in connection with a Business Combination (as defined in paragraph (iii) below) which does not constitute a Change in Control under said paragraph (iii); or

 

 

(ii)

 

Persons who on the Effective Date constitute the Board (the “Incumbent Directors”) cease for any reason, including without limitation, as a result of a tender offer, proxy contest, merger, or similar transaction, to constitute at least a majority thereof, provided that any person becoming a director of the Company subsequent to the Effective Date shall be considered an Incumbent Director if such person’s election or nomination for election was approved by a vote of at least two-thirds (2/3) of the Incumbent Directors; but provided further, that any such person whose initial assumption of office is in connection with an actual or threatened election contest relating to the election of members of the Board or other actual or threatened solicitation of proxies or consents by or on behalf of a “person” (as defined in Sections 13(d) and 14(d) of the Exchange Act) other than the Board, including by reason of agreement intended to avoid or settle any such actual or threatened contest or solicitation, shall not be considered an Incumbent Director; or

 

 

(iii)

 

Consummation of a reorganization, merger, consolidation, or sale or other disposition of all or substantially all of the assets of the Company (a “Business Combination”), in each case, unless, following such Business Combination, all or substantially all of the individuals and entities who were the beneficial owners of outstanding voting securities of the Company immediately prior to such Business Combination beneficially own, directly or indirectly, more than fifty percent (50%) of 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 company resulting from such Business Combination (including, without limitation, a company 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) in substantially the same proportions as their ownership, immediately prior to such Business Combination, of the outstanding voting securities of the Company; or

 

 

(iv)

 

The stockholders of the Company approve any plan or proposal for the liquidation or dissolution of the Company.

3


 

 

(f)

 

Code” means the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, and any successors thereto.

 

 

(g)

 

Committee” means the Compensation Committee of the Board or any other committee appointed by the Board to perform the functions of the Compensation Committee.

 

 

(h)

 

Company” means NRG Energy, Inc., a Delaware corporation, or any successor thereto as provided in Article 7 herein.

 

 

(i)

 

Disability” shall mean the Executive’s inability to perform the essential duties, responsibilities, and functions of his position with the Company and its affiliates as a result of any mental or physical disability or incapacity even with reasonable accommodations of such disability or incapacity, provided by the Company and its affiliates, or if providing such accommodations would be unreasonable, for a period of twelve (12) months. The Executive shall cooperate in all respects with the Company if a question arises as to whether he has become disabled (including, without limitation, submitting to an examination by a medical doctor or other health care specialists selected by the Company and reasonably acceptable to the Executive and authorizing such medical doctor or such other health care specialist to discuss the Executive’s condition with the Company).

 

 

(j)

 

Effective Date” means the commencement date of this Plan as specified in Section 1.2 of this Plan.

 

 

(k)

 

Effective Date of Termination” means the date on which a Qualifying Termination occurs, as defined hereunder, which triggers the payment of Severance Benefits hereunder.

 

 

(l)

 

Former Parent Company” means Xcel Energy, Inc., a Minnesota corporation, or any successor thereto.

 

 

(m)

 

Good Reason” shall mean without the Executive’s express written consent the occurrence of any one or more of the following:

 

(i)

 

The Company materially reduces the amount of the Executive’s then current Base Salary or the target for his annual bonus; or

 

 

(ii)

 

A material reduction in the Executive’s benefits under or relative level of participation in the Company’s employee benefit or retirement plans, policies, practices, or arrangements in which the Executive participates as of the Effective Date of this Plan; or

 

 

(iii)

 

A material diminution in the Executive’s title, authority, duties, or responsibilities or the assignment of duties to the Executive which are materially inconsistent with his position; or

4


 

 

(iv)

 

The failure of the Company to obtain in writing the obligation to perform or be bound by the terms of this Plan by any successor to the Company or a purchaser of all or substantially all of the assets of the Company within fifteen (15) days after a merger, consolidation, sale, or similar transaction.

For purposes of this Plan, the Executive is not entitled to assert that his termination is for Good Reason unless the Executive gives the Board written notice of the event or events which are the basis for such claim within ninety (90) days after the event or events occur, describing such claim in reasonably sufficient detail to allow the Board to address the event or events and a period of not less than thirty (30) days after to cure or fully remedy the alleged condition.

 

(n)

 

Notice of Termination” shall mean a written notice which shall indicate the specific termination provision in this Plan relied upon, and shall set forth in reasonable detail the facts and circumstances claimed to provide a basis for termination of the Executive’s employment under the provision so indicated.

 

 

(o)

 

Qualifying Termination” means:

 

(i)

 

If such event occurs within twenty-four (24) months immediately following a Change in Control:

 

(A)

 

An involuntary termination of the Executive’s employment by the Company for reasons other than Cause, death, or Disability pursuant to a Notice of Termination delivered to the Executive by the Company; or

 

 

(B)

 

A voluntary termination by the Executive for Good Reason pursuant to a Notice of Termination delivered to the Company by the Executive; or

 

(ii)

 

If such event occurs at any other time:

 

(A)

 

An involuntary termination of the Executive’s employment by the Company for reasons other than Cause, death, or Disability pursuant to a Notice of Termination delivered to the Executive by the Company.

 

(p)

 

Retirement” shall have the meaning ascribed to such term in the Company’s tax-qualified retirement plan or under the successor or replacement of such retirement plan if it is then no longer in effect.

 

 

(q)

 

Severance Benefits” means the payment of Change-in-Control or General (as appropriate) Severance compensation as provided in Article 3 herein.

 

 

(r)

 

Specified Employee” means any Executive described in section 409A(a)(2)(B)(i) of the Code.

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(s)

 

Tier I Executives” shall include those employees of the Company holding the title EVP immediately prior to the Change in Control, or such other employee who is designated as a Tier I Executive in the Company’s human resources records immediately prior to the Change in Control other than the CEO.

 

 

(t)

 

Tier II Executives” shall include those employees of the Company holding the title SVP immediately prior to the Change in Control, or such other employee who is designated as a Tier II Executive in the Company’s human resources records immediately prior to the Change in Control.

Article 3. Severance Benefits

     3.1 Right to Severance Benefits.

 

(a)

 

Change-in-Control Severance Benefits. The Executive shall be entitled to receive from the Company Change-in-Control Severance Benefits, as described in Section 3.2 herein, if a Qualifying Termination of the Executive’s employment has occurred within twenty-four (24) months immediately following a Change in Control of the Company.

 

 

(b)

 

General Severance Benefits. The Executive shall be entitled to receive from the Company General Severance Benefits, as described in Section 3.3 herein, if a Qualifying Termination of the Executive’s employment has occurred other than during the twenty-four (24) months immediately following a Change in Control.

 

 

(c)

 

No Severance Benefits. The Executive shall not be entitled to receive Severance Benefits if the Executive’s employment with the Company ends for reasons other than a Qualifying Termination.

 

 

(d)

 

General Release and Acknowledgement of Restrictive Covenants. As a condition to receiving Severance Benefits under either Section 3.2 or 3.3 herein, the Executive shall be obligated to execute a general release of claims in favor of the Company, its current and former affiliates and stockholders, and the current and former directors, officers, employees, and agents of the Company in a form acceptable to the Company, and any revocation period for such release must have expired, in each case within 60 days of the date of termination. The date upon which the executed release is no longer subject to revocation shall be referred to herein as the “Release Effective Date”. The Executive must also execute a notice acknowledging the restrictive covenants in Article 4 within 60 days of the date of termination. Any payments under Section 3.2 or 3.3 shall commence only after execution of the release and acknowledgement, and in the manner provided in Section 3.4.

 

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(e)

 

No Duplication of Severance Benefits. If the Executive becomes entitled to Change-in-Control Severance Benefits, the Severance Benefits provided for under Section 3.2 hereunder shall be in lieu of all other Severance Benefits provided to the Executive under the provisions of this Plan and any other Company-related or Former Parent Company-related severance plans, programs, or agreements including, but not limited to, the Severance Benefits under Section 3.3 herein. Likewise, if the Executive becomes entitled to General Severance Benefits, the Severance Benefits provided under Section 3.3 hereunder shall be in lieu of all other Severance Benefits provided to the Executive under the provisions of this Plan and any other Company-related severance plans, programs, or other agreements including, but not limited to, the Severance Benefits under Section 3.2 herein.

     3.2 Description of Change-in-Control Severance Benefits. In the event the Executive becomes entitled to receive Change-in-Control Severance Benefits, as provided in Section 3.1(a) herein, the Company shall provide the Executive with the following:

 

(a)

 

A lump-sum amount, paid upon the date that is sixty (60) calendar days following the Effective Date of Termination, equal to the Executive’s unpaid Base Salary, accrued vacation pay, unreimbursed business expenses, and all other items earned by and owed to the Executive through and including the Effective Date of Termination, provided that to the extent the payment of any amounts pursuant to this Section 3.2(a) does not constitute “deferred compensation” for purposes of Code Section 409A, such amounts shall be paid upon the Release Effective Date.

 

 

(b)

 

A lump-sum amount, paid upon the date that is sixty (60) calendar days following the Effective Date of Termination, equal to: (i) two and ninety-nine one-hundredths (2.99) for Tier I Executives, or (ii) two (2) for Tier II Executives times the sum of the following: (A) the Executive’s Base Salary and (B) the Executive’s annual target bonus opportunity in the year of termination; provided that to the extent the payment of any amounts pursuant to this Section 3.2(b) does not constitute “deferred compensation” for purposes of Code Section 409A, such amounts shall be paid upon the Release Effective Date; provided further that any amounts that become payable pursuant to this Section 3.2(b) prior to January 1, 2009 shall be paid in accordance with the schedule provided under the Original Plan (which, for the avoidance of doubt, shall commence upon the Effective Date of Termination and shall continue for the period provided in the Original Plan, paid in accordance with the payroll practices of the Company as in effect on the Effective Date of Termination, but in no event less frequently than monthly).

 

 

(c)

 

A lump-sum amount, paid upon the date that is sixty (60) calendar days following the Effective Date of Termination, equal to the Executive’s then current target bonus opportunity established under the bonus plan in which the Executive is then participating, for the plan year in which a Qualifying Termination occurs, adjusted on a pro rata basis based on the number of days the Executive was actually employed during the bonus plan year in which the Qualifying Termination occurs, provided that to the extent the payment of any amounts

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pursuant to this Section 3.2(c) does not constitute “deferred compensation” for purposes of Code Section 409A, such amounts shall be paid upon the Release Effective Date.

 

(d)

 

Reimburse Executive for all or a portion of his or her cost to participate in COBRA medical and dental continuation coverage for eighteen (18) months following the Executive’s Date or Termination, such that Executive maintains the same coverage level and cost, on an after tax basis, to the Executive as in effect immediately prior to the Executive’s Effective Date of Termination.

Notwithstanding the above, these medical benefits shall be discontinued prior to the end of the stated continuation period in the event the Executive receives substantially similar benefits from a subsequent employer, as determined solely by the Committee in good faith. For purposes of enforcing this offset provision, the Executive shall be deemed to have a duty to keep the Company informed as to the terms and conditions of any subsequent employment and the corresponding benefits earned from such employment, and shall provide, or cause to provide, to the Company in writing correct, complete, and timely information concerning the same.

 

(e)

 

Treatment of outstanding long-term incentives shall be in accordance with the governing plan document and award agreements, if any.

     3.3 Description of General Severance Benefits. In the event the Executive becomes entitled to receive General Severance Benefits as provided in Section 3.1(b) herein, the Company shall provide the Executive with the following:

 

(a)

 

A lump-sum amount, paid upon the date that is sixty (60) calendar days following the Effective Date of Termination, equal to the Executive’s unpaid Base Salary, accrued vacation pay, unreimbursed business expenses, and all other items earned by and owed to the Executive through and including the Effective Date of Termination; provided that to the extent the payment of any amounts pursuant to this Section 3.3(a) does not constitute “deferred compensation” for purposes of Code Section 409A, such amounts shall be paid upon the Release Effective Date.

 

 

(b)

 

A lump-sum amount, paid upon the date that is sixty (60) calendar days following the Effective Date of Termination, equal to one and one-half (1.5) times the Executive’s Base Salary; provided that to the extent the payment of any amounts pursuant to this Section 3.3(b) does not constitute “deferred compensation” for purposes of Code Section 409A, such amounts shall be paid upon the Release Effective Date; provided further that any amounts that become payable pursuant to this Section 3.3(b) prior to January 1, 2009 shall be paid in accordance with the schedule provided under the Original Plan (which, for the avoidance of doubt, shall commence upon the Effective Date of Termination and shall continue for the period provided in the Original Plan, paid in accordance with the payroll practices of the Company as in effect on the Effective Date of Termination, but in no event less frequently than monthly).

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(c)

 

Reimburse Executive for all or a portion of his or her cost to participate in COBRA medical and dental continuation coverage for eighteen (18) months following the Executive’s Date or Termination, such that Executive maintains the same coverage level and cost, on an after tax basis, to the Executive as in effect immediately prior to the Executive’s Effective Date of Termination.

 

 

 

 

Notwithstanding the above, these medical insurance benefits shall be discontinued prior to the end of the stated continuation period in the event the Executive receives substantially similar benefits from a subsequent employer, as determined solely by the Committee in good faith. For purposes of enforcing this offset provision, the Executive shall be deemed to have a duty to keep the Company informed as to the terms and conditions of any subsequent employment and the corresponding benefits earned from such employment, and shall provide, or cause to provide, to the Company in writing correct, complete, and timely information concerning the same.

 

(d)

 

Treatment of outstanding long-term incentives shall be in accordance with the governing plan document and award agreements, if any.

     3.4 Coordination with Release and Delay Required by Code Section 409A.

 

(a)

 

To the extent any continuing benefit (or reimbursement thereof) to be provided is not “deferred compensation” for purposes of Code Section 409A, then such benefit shall commence or be made immediately after the Release Effective Date. To the extent any continuing benefit (or reimbursement thereof) to be provided is “deferred compensation” for purposes of Code Section 409A, then such benefits shall be reimbursed or commence upon the sixtieth (60) day following the Executive’s termination of employment. The delayed benefits shall in any event expire at the time such benefits would have expired had the benefits commenced immediately upon Executive’s termination of employment.

 

 

(b)

 

Notwithstanding any other payment schedule provided herein to the contrary, if the Executive is deemed on the date of termination to be a Specified Employee, then, once the release and acknowledgement required by Section 3.1(d) is executed and delivered and no longer subject to revocation, any payment that is considered deferred compensation under Code Section 409A payable on account of a “separation from service” shall be made on the date which is the earlier of (A) the expiration of the six (6)-month period measured from the date of such “separation from service” of the Executive, and (B) the date of the Executive’s death (the “Delay Period”) to the extent required under Code Section 409A. Upon the expiration of the Delay Period, all payments delayed pursuant to this Section 3.4(b) (whether they would have otherwise been payable in a single sum or in installments in the absence of such delay) shall be paid to the Executive in a lump sum, and any remaining payments due under this Plan shall be paid or provided in accordance with the normal payment dates specified for them herein.

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Article 4. Confidentiality and Noncompetition

     In the event the Executive becomes entitled to receive Change-in-Control Severance Benefits as provided in Section 3.2 herein or General Severance Benefits as provided in Section 3.3 herein, the following shall apply:

 

(a)

 

Confidential Information. The Executive acknowledges that the information, observations, and data (including trade secrets) obtained by him while employed by the Company concerning the business or affairs of the Company or any of its affiliates (“Confidential Information”) are the property of the Company or such affiliate. Therefore, except in the course of the Executive’s duties to the Company or as may be compelled by law or appropriate legal process, the Executive agrees that he shall not disclose to any person or entity or use for his own purposes any Confidential Information or any confidential or proprietary information of other persons or entities in the possession of the Company and its affiliates (“Third Party Information”), without the prior written consent of the Board, unless and to the extent that the Confidential Information or Third Party Information becomes generally known to and available for use by the public other than as a result of the Executive’s acts or omissions. Except in the course of the Executive’s duties to Company or as may be compelled by law or appropriate legal process, the Executive will not, during his employment with the Company, or permanently thereafter, directly or indirectly use, divulge, disseminate, disclose, lecture upon, or publish any Confidential Information, without having first obtained written permission from the Board to do so. As of the Effective Date of Termination, the Executive shall deliver to the Company, or at any other time the Company may reasonably request, all memoranda, notes, plans, records, reports, computer files, disks and tapes, printouts and software and other documents and data (and copies thereof) embodying or relating to Third Party Information, Confidential Information, or the business of the Company, or its affiliates which he may then possess or have under his control.

 

 

(b)

 

Intellectual Property, Inventions, and Patents. The Executive acknowledges that all discoveries, concepts, ideas, inventions, innovations, improvements, developments, methods, trade secrets, designs, analyses, drawings, reports, patent applications, copyrightable work and mask work (whether or not including any confidential information), and all registrations or applications related thereto, all other proprietary information and all similar or related information (whether or not patentable) which may relate to the Company’s or any of its affiliates’ actual or anticipated business, research and development, or existing or future products or services and which are conceived, developed, or made by the Executive (whether alone or jointly with others) while employed by the Company and its affiliates (“Work Product”), belong to the Company or such affiliate. The Executive shall promptly disclose such Work Product to the Board and, at the Company’s expense, perform all actions reasonably requested by the Board (whether during or after the Executive’s employment with the Company) to establish and confirm such ownership (including, without limitation, assignments, consents, powers of attorney, and other instruments). The Executive

10


 

 

 

 

acknowledges that all applicable Work Product shall be deemed to constitute “works made for hire” under the U.S. Copyright Act of 1976, as amended. To the extent any Work Product is not deemed a work made for hire, then the Executive hereby assigns to the Company or such affiliate all right, title, and interest in and to such Work Product, including all related intellectual property rights.

 

 

 

 

The Executive is hereby advised that the above paragraph regarding the Company’s and its affiliates’ ownership of Work Product does not apply to any invention for which no equipment, supplies, facilities, or trade secret information of the Company or any affiliate was used and which was developed entirely on the Executive’s own time, unless: (i) the invention relates to the business of the Company or any affiliate or to the Company’s or any affiliate’s actual or demonstrably anticipated research or development, or (ii) the invention results from any work performed by the Executive for the Company or any affiliate.

 

(c)

 

Noncompete. In further consideration of the compensation to be paid to the Executive hereunder, the Executive acknowledges that during the course of his employment with the Company and its affiliates he shall become familiar with the Company’s trade secrets and with other Confidential Information concerning the Company and its affiliates and that his services shall be of special, unique, and extraordinary value to the Company and its affiliates, and therefore, the Executive agrees that, during the Executive’s employment with the Company and for one (1) year thereafter (the “Noncompete Period”), the Executive shall not directly or indirectly own any interest in, manage, control, participate in, consult with, render services for, be employed in an executive, managerial, or administrative capacity by, or in any manner engage in any company engaged in the business of wholesale power generation which competes with the businesses of the Company or its affiliates, as such businesses exist or are in process during the Executive’s employment with the Company, within any geographical area in which the Company or its affiliates engage or have definitive plans to engage in such businesses. Nothing herein shall prohibit the Executive from being a passive owner of not more than two percent (2%) of the outstanding stock of any class of a corporation which is publicly traded, so long as the Executive has no active participation in the business of such corporation. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the provisions of this Article 4(c) shall not apply in the case of termination of the Executive’s employment pursuant to any material breach of the Company’s obligations under Article 3 which remains uncured for more than twenty (20) days after notice is received from the Executive of such breach, which such notice shall include a detailed description of the grounds constituting such breach.

 

 

(d)

 

Nonsolicitation. During the Noncompete Period, the Executive shall not directly or indirectly through another person or entity: (i) induce or attempt to induce any employee of the Company or any of its affiliates to leave the employ of the Company or such affiliate, or in any way interfere with the relationship between the Company or any affiliate and any employee thereof; (ii) hire any person who was an employee of the Company or any affiliate during the last six (6) months of

11


 

 

 

 

the Executive’s employment with the Company; or (iii) induce or attempt to induce any customer, supplier, licensee, licensor, franchisee, or other business relation of the Company or any affiliate to cease doing business with the Company or such affiliate, or in any interfere with the relationship between any such customer, supplier, licensee, or business relation and the Company or any affiliate (including, without limitation, making any negative or disparaging statements or communications regarding the Company or its affiliates).

 

(e)

 

Duration, Scope, or Area. If, at the time of enforcement of this Article 4, a court shall hold that the duration, scope, or area restrictions stated herein are unreasonable under circumstances then existing, the parties agree that the maximum duration, scope, or area reasonable under such circumstances shall be substituted for the stated duration, scope, or area and that the court shall be allowed to revise the restrictions contained herein to cover the maximum period, scope, and area permitted by law.

 

 

(f)

 

Company Enforcement. In the event of a breach or a threatened breach by the Executive of any of the provisions of this Article 4, the Company would suffer irreparable harm, and in addition and supplementary to other rights and remedies existing in its favor, the Company shall be entitled to specific performance and/or injunctive or other equitable relief from a court of competent jurisdiction in order to enforce or prevent any violations of the provisions hereof (without posting a bond or other security). In addition, in the event of a breach or violation by the Executive of Article 4(c), the Noncompete Period shall be automatically extended by the amount of time between the initial occurrence of the breach or violation and when such breach or violation has been duly cured.

Article 5. Excise Tax Equalization Payment

     In the event that any payment or benefit made or provided to or for the benefit of Executive in connection with this Plan or his employment with the Company or the termination thereof (a “Payment”) is determined to be subject to any excise tax (“Excise Tax”) imposed by Section 4999 of the Code (or any successor to such Section), the Company shall pay to such Executive, prior to the time any Excise Tax is payable with respect to such Payment (through withholding or otherwise), an additional amount (a “Gross-Up Payment”) which, after the imposition of all income, employment, excise and other taxes, penalties and interest thereon, is equal to the sum of: (i) the Excise Tax on such Payment, plus (ii) any penalty and interest assessments associated with such Excise Tax. The determination of whether any Payment is subject to an Excise Tax and, if so, the amount and time of any Gross-Up Payment pursuant to this Article 5 shall be made by an independent auditor (the “Auditor”) jointly selected by the parties and paid by the Company. Unless the Executive agrees otherwise in writing, the Auditor shall be a nationally recognized United States public accounting firm that has not, during the two (2) years preceding the date of its selection, acted in any way on behalf of the Company or any of its affiliates. If the parties cannot agree on the firm to serve as the Auditor, then the parties shall each select one (1) accounting firm and those two (2) firms shall jointly select the accounting firm to serve as the Auditor. The parties shall cooperate with each other in connection with any Proceeding, defined as any threatened or actual action, suit, or proceeding, whether civil,

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criminal, administrative, investigative, appellate, or other, or Claim, defined as any claim, demand, request, investigation, dispute, controversy, threat, discovery request, or request for testimony or information, relating to the existence or amount of any liability for Excise Tax. All expenses relating to any such Proceeding or Claim (including attorneys’ fees and other expenses incurred by the Executive in connection therewith) shall be paid by the Company promptly upon demand by the Executive, and any such payment shall be subject to a Gross-Up Payment under this Article 5 in the event that the Executive is subject to Excise Tax on such payment. This Article 5 shall apply irrespective of whether a Change in Control has occurred. Any Gross-Up Payment shall be made no later than the end of the calendar year immediately following the calendar year in which the Excise Tax payment was made.

Article 6. Legal Fees and Notice

     6.1 Payment of Legal Fees. Except as otherwise agreed to by the parties, the Company shall pay the Executive for costs of litigation or other disputes including, without limitation, reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred by the Executive during Executive’s lifetime in asserting any claims or defenses under this Plan, except that the Executive shall bear his own costs of such litigation or disputes (including, without limitation, attorneys’ fees) if the court (or arbitrator) finds in favor of the Company with respect to any claims or defenses asserted by the Executive.

     6.2 Notice. Any notices, requests, demands, or other communications provided for by this Plan shall be sufficient if in writing and if sent by registered or certified mail to the Executive at the last address he or she has filed in writing with the Company or, in the case of the Company, at its principal offices.

Article 7. Successors and Assignment

     7.1 Successors to the Company. The Company shall require any successor (whether direct or indirect, by purchase, merger, reorganization, consolidation, acquisition of property or stock, liquidation, or otherwise) of all or a significant portion of the assets of the Company by agreement, in form and substance satisfactory to the Executive, to expressly assume and agree to perform under this Plan in the same manner and to the same extent that the Company would be required to perform if no such succession had taken place. Regardless of whether such agreement is executed, the terms of this Plan shall be binding upon any successor in accordance with the operation of law and such successor shall be deemed the “Company” for purposes of this Plan.

     7.2 Assignment by the Executive. This Plan shall inure to the benefit of and be enforceable by the Executive’s personal or legal representatives, executors, administrators, successors, heirs, distributees, devisees, and legatees. If the Executive dies while any amount would still be payable to him or her hereunder had he or she continued to live, all such amounts, unless otherwise provided herein, shall be paid in accordance with the terms of this Plan to the Executive’s Beneficiary. If the Executive has not named a Beneficiary, then such amounts shall be paid to the Executive’s devisee, legatee, or other designee, or if there is no such designee, to the Executive’s estate.

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Article 8. Miscellaneous

     8.1 Employment Status. Except as may be provided under any other agreement between the Executive and the Company, the employment of the Executive by the Company is “at will” and may be terminated by either the Executive or the Company at any time, subject to applicable law.

     8.2 Code Section 409A.

 

(a)

 

All expenses or other reimbursements under this Plan shall be made on or prior to the last day of the taxable year following the taxable year in which such expenses were incurred by the Executive (provided that if any such reimbursements constitute taxable income to the Executive, such reimbursements shall be paid no later than March 15th of the calendar year following the calendar year in which the expenses to be reimbursed were incurred), and no such reimbursement or expenses eligible for reimbursement in any taxable year shall in any way affect the expenses eligible for reimbursement in any other taxable year.

 

 

(b)

 

For purposes of Code Section 409A, the Executive’s right to receive any installment payment pursuant to this Plan shall be treated as a right to receive a series of separate and distinct payments.

 

 

(c)

 

Whenever a payment under this Plan specifies a payment period with reference to a number of days (e.g., “payment shall be made within thirty (30) days following the date of termination”), the actual date of payment within the specified period shall be within the sole discretion of the Company.

 

 

(d)

 

A termination of employment shall not be deemed to have occurred for purposes of any provision of this Plan providing for the payment of any amounts or benefits upon or following a termination of employment unless such termination is also a “separation from service” within the meaning of Code Section 409A and, for purposes of any such provision of this Plan, references to a “termination,” “termination of employment” or like terms shall mean “separation from service.”

 

 

(e)

 

Notwithstanding any other provision of this Plan to the contrary, in no event shall any payment under this Plan that constitutes “deferred compensation” for purposes of Code Section 409A be subject to offset unless otherwise permitted by Code Section 409A.

     8.3 Entire Plan. This Plan supersedes any prior agreements or understandings, oral or written, between the parties hereto, with respect to the subject matter hereof, and constitutes the entire agreement of the parties with respect thereto. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing sentence, this Plan completely supersedes any and all prior employment agreements entered into by and between the Company and the Executive, and all amendments thereto, in their entirety.

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     8.4 Severability. In the event that any provision or portion of this Plan shall be determined to be invalid or unenforceable for any reason, the remaining provisions of this Plan shall be unaffected thereby and shall remain in full force and effect.

     8.5 Tax Withholding. The Company may withhold from any benefits payable under this Plan all federal, state, city, or other taxes as may be required pursuant to any law or governmental regulation or ruling.

     8.6 Beneficiaries. The Executive may designate one (1) or more persons or entities as the primary and/or contingent beneficiaries of any amounts to be received under this Plan. Such designation must be in the form of a signed writing acceptable to the Board or the Board’s designee. The Executive may make or change such designation at any time.

     8.7 Payment Obligation Absolute. The Company’s obligation to make the payments provided for herein shall be absolute and unconditional, and shall not be affected by any circumstances, including, without limitation, any offset, counterclaim, recoupment, defense, or other right which the Company may have against the Executive or anyone else.

     Except as provided in Sections 3.2(d) and 3.3(c) of this Plan, the Executive shall not be obligated to seek other employment in mitigation of the amounts payable or arrangements made under any provision of this Plan, and the obtaining of any such other employment shall in no event effect any reduction of the Company’s obligations to make the payments and arrangements required to be made under this Plan.

     8.8 Contractual Rights to Benefits. Subject to approval and ratification by the Board of Directors, this Plan establishes and vests in the Executive a contractual right to the benefits to which he or she is entitled hereunder. However, nothing herein contained shall require or be deemed to require, or prohibit or be deemed to prohibit, the Company to segregate, earmark, or otherwise set aside any funds or other assets, in trust or otherwise, to provide for any payments to be made or required hereunder.

     8.9 Modification. No provision of this Plan may be modified, waived, or discharged with respect to any particular Executive unless such modification, waiver, or discharge is agreed to in writing and signed by such Executive and by an authorized member of the Committee, or by the respective parties’ legal representatives and successors, provided, however, that the Committee may unilaterally amend this Plan without the Executive’s consent if such amendment does not materially adversely alter or impair in any significant manner any rights or obligations of the Executive under the Plan.

     8.10 Gender and Number. Except where otherwise indicated by the context, any masculine term used herein also shall include the feminine; the plural shall include the singular and the singular shall include the plural.

     8.11 Applicable Law. To the extent not preempted by the laws of the United States, the laws of the state of New Jersey shall be the controlling law in all matters relating to this Plan.

     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Company has executed this Plan on this ninth day of December, 2008.

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ATTEST

NRG Energy, Inc.

 

 

 

/S/ DAVID W. CRANE

 

 

 

 

 

David W. Crane

 

 

President and Chief Executive Officer

 

 

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