Kenneth E. Compton

Retirement Agreement and General Release

 

J. Patrick O'Shaughnessy

Change in Control

 

 

EX-10.22 4 a2202472zex-10_22.htm EX-10.22
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Exhibit 10.22

RETIREMENT AGREEMENT AND GENERAL RELEASE

        This Retirement Agreement and General Release (the "Agreement") is entered into by and between Advance America, Cash Advance Centers, Inc. (the "Company") and Kenneth E. Compton ("Executive"), as of February 28, 2011.

Statement of Purpose

        Executive has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company since August 26, 2005. Executive has determined to retire from his employment with the Company effective as of February 28, 2011, with the consent of the Board of Directors of the Company. The purpose of this Agreement is to set forth the mutual understanding of the parties regarding Executive's retirement from the Company, including (i) his ongoing role on the Board of Directors, (ii) certain retirement pay and benefits as provided herein, (iii) in consideration for such retirement benefits, Executive's general release of claims and certain post-employment covenants and (iv) other matters set forth herein.

        Accordingly, in consideration of the mutual promises contained in this Agreement, the parties agree as follows:

        1.    Retirement; Board Service.    Executive's employment with the Company will terminate effective February 28, 2011 (the "Retirement Date"). Effective on the Retirement Date, Executive resigns as to his positions as President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company and every other position as an employee, officer, agent or trustee of each and every affiliated entity or benefit plan; provided, however, that Executive shall continue in his current term as a member of the Board of Directors of the Company following the Retirement Date. Executive agrees to stand for re-election to the Board of Directors at the next annual meeting of the Company's shareholders at which directors are elected. As part of Executive's role on the Board of Directors, Executive will provide guidance and advice to the Company's President and Chief Executive Officer to assist in the transition of Executive's duties. Executive shall be eligible to receive compensation following the Retirement Date for his role as a non-employee director in accordance with the Company's generally applicable compensation arrangements for non-employee directors.

        2.    Retirement Pay and Benefits.    In consideration for Executive's release of claims, covenants and other agreements provided herein, the Company shall provide Executive the following retirement pay and benefits:

        a.    Restricted Stock Vesting.    The remaining 93,750 shares of restricted stock granted to Executive on October 27, 2005 under the Restricted Stock Agreement, dated October 27, 2005, between Executive and the Company (the "2005 Restricted Stock Agreement") that were not vested immediately prior to the Retirement Date shall be vested as of the Retirement Date.

        b.    Retirement Treatment for Vested Stock Options.    In accordance with Section 7(e) of the Company's 2004 Omnibus Stock Plan and Section 1(b) of the Nonqualified Stock Option Agreement, dated October 27, 2005, between Executive and the Company (the "2005 Stock Option Agreement"), Executive's termination of employment shall be treated as a retirement, providing Executive with one year following the Retirement Date to exercise any stock options that are vested and outstanding as of the Retirement Date.

        c.    Retirement Payment.    Conditioned on the execution of this Agreement and non-revocation of the release set forth in Section 6 below, on or about the 30th day after the Retirement Date the Company shall make a lump sum cash payment to Executive in the amount of $180,000, less applicable payroll and withholding taxes.

        d.    Benefits Continuation.    For a period of no more than six (6) months following the Retirement Date, the Company will pay the full cost of Executive's monthly premiums (for executive and currently enrolled dependents) for coverage under the Company's group health plan (the "Extended Coverage Period"). COBRA Continuation coverage with the Company's group


 

health plan for Executive and his dependents will be available for election by executive, at his election and expense, following the Extended Coverage Period. Notwithstanding the foregoing, in the event Executive obtains other employment whereby he is eligible for reasonably equivalent medical benefits, the Company shall not be required to continue to subsidize the group health benefit coverage for Executive and his dependents under the Company's group health benefit plans. Executive agrees to notify the Company in writing within ten (10) days of obtaining employment whereby he is eligible to receive reasonably equivalent medical benefits from his employer.

        e.    No Prior Entitlement to Severance Benefits.    The parties agree that the retirement pay and benefits set forth in this Section 2 include consideration in addition to anything of value to which Executive was already entitled before signing this Agreement.

        3.    Forfeiture of Unvested Equity Awards.    Except as otherwise expressly provided in Section 2 above, all awards of stock options and restricted stock under the Company's 2004 Omnibus Stock Plan and the 2005 Stock Option Agreement that are not vested as of the Retirement Date shall be canceled and forfeited as of such date.

        4.    Termination of Change of Control Agreement.    Effective as of the Retirement Date, the Change of Control Agreement between the Company and Executive dated February 16, 2011 shall be canceled and terminated in its entirety.

        5.    All Other Benefits.    All other benefits that Executive was provided during the course of his employment under the Company's employee benefit plans shall terminate as of the Retirement Date, except as otherwise expressly provided in such plans. Executive hereby agrees to comply with the terms of the Company's 2004 Omnibus Stock Plan and applicable award agreements under that Plan, the 2005 Restricted Stock Agreement, and the 2005 Stock Option Agreement with respect to vested awards of restricted stock and stock options, and any sales, gifts, or other transfers of such stock.

        6.    Release.    In return for the additional consideration provided by the Agreement, Executive does hereby for Executive and Executive's heirs, executors, assigns, and any others who may seek to act on Executive's behalf or through Executive, release and forever discharge the Company, affiliates, subsidiaries, successors, predecessors and related entities, if any, and their current and former officers, directors, agents, representatives, employees, insurers and assigns (collectively the "Releasees") from all claims Executive has or may have against the Releasees by reason of anything done or omitted to be done in relation to Executive's employment with the Company, up to the date of this Agreement. This release and discharge includes any and all causes of action, back or front pay, benefits, damages of any sort, debts, liabilities, contract rights, and any costs, fees, or other expenses or attorneys' fees incurred in law or in equity, whether known or unknown. This release and discharge also includes, without limitation, any liability or cause of action which arises out of or relates to Executive's employment or separation from employment by Releasees including, without limitation, any cause of action or liability for discrimination based on the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act, race, color, sex, disability, religion, national origin or other status protected by applicable law. The Agreement shall not be construed to waive any right that is not subject to waiver under applicable law, including the right to file an administrative agency action, or any right to vested benefits under the terms of any pension, retirement savings benefit plan, or company-provided equity awards made under the 2004 Omnibus Stock Plan, the 2005 Restricted Stock Agreement, and the 2005 Stock Option Agreement. Nor shall this agreement be construed to waive any right Executive has pursuant to the Executive's Indemnification Agreement with the Company.

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        7.    Cooperation; Non-Disparagement.    

        a.    Cooperation.    Executive additionally agrees to make himself available even after the Retirement Date, upon reasonable notice from the Company, in connection with any and all claims, disputes, negotiations, investigations, lawsuits or administrative proceedings involving the Company, to provide information or documents, provide declarations, affidavits, or statements to the Company, meet with attorneys or other representatives of the Company, prepare for and give depositions or testimony, and/or otherwise cooperate in the investigation, defense or prosecution of such matters. Executive understands that the Company will reimburse Executive for all reasonable, documented out-of-pocket expenses that Executive incurs, in accordance with the Company's then applicable expense reimbursement guidelines in complying with the obligations of this Section.

        b.    Non-Disparagement.    Executive agrees not to disparage the Company in any way and the Company agrees not to disparage Executive in any way. Upon the request and direction of Executive, the Company shall provide any and all third parties with a job reference on behalf of Executive, such recommendation to include the following information: dates of employment and job title.

        c.    Return of Payments/Benefits.    If Executive breaches this Section 7, Executive must repay all amounts provided to Executive under this Agreement.

        8.    Noncompetition; Nonsolicitation; Confidential Information.    

        a.    Noncompetition.    Executive acknowledges and agrees with the Company that Executive's services to the Company were unique in nature and that the Company would be irreparably harmed and would lack an adequate remedy at law if Executive were to provide similar services to any person or entity competing with the Company or engaged in a similar business. Executive further acknowledges and agrees that the covenants and agreements set forth in this Agreement are a material inducement to the Company to enter into this Agreement and consummate the transactions contemplated hereby, and that Executive shall receive substantial direct and indirect benefits by virtue of the transactions contemplated by this Agreement. Executive accordingly covenants and agrees with the Company that during the period commencing on the Retirement Date and ending on the first anniversary of that date (i.e., twelve full calendar months following the Retirement Date) (the "Noncompetition Period"), Executive shall not, directly or indirectly, either for himself or for any other individual, corporation, partnership, joint venture or other entity, participate in the "Restricted Business in the Restricted Territory," which, for purposes of this Agreement, is defined as the business of the Company and its subsidiaries as conducted on the date hereof anywhere in the United States, Canada, or the United Kingdom. For purposes of this Agreement, the term "participate in" shall include, without limitation, having any direct or indirect interest in any corporation, partnership, joint venture, or other entity, whether as a sole proprietor, owner, stockholder, partner, joint venturer, creditor or otherwise, or rendering any direct or indirect service or assistance to any individual, corporation, partnership, joint venture and other business entity (whether as a director, officer, manager, supervisor, employee, agent, consultant or otherwise), as a result of which Executive (A) will use or disclose or could reasonably be expected to use or disclose any confidential information or matters of the Company (as defined below) for the purpose of competing with the Company; (B) will hold a position with duties that are the same as or substantially similar to those duties previously performed by Executive for the Company; or (C) will otherwise engage in providing products or services in competition with the Company. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Executive may own, directly or indirectly, solely as an investment, securities of any person (i) having a class of securities registered under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 if Executive is not involved in the business of said person and if Executive and Executive's associates (as such term is defined in Regulation 14(A) promulgated under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as in effect on the date hereof), collectively, do not, directly or

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indirectly, own more than an aggregate of three percent (3%) of any class of securities of such person, or (ii) provided such securities are held through an investment vehicle for which Executive does not make the investment decisions.

        b.    Nonsolicitation.    During the Noncompetition Period, Executive shall not, directly or indirectly, either for himself or any other person or entity, (i) induce or attempt to induce any employee of the Company (or any of its direct or indirect subsidiaries) to leave the employ of the Company (or any of its direct or indirect subsidiaries), or in any way interfere with the relationship between the Company (or any of its direct or indirect subsidiaries), and any employee thereof in a manner that has an adverse effect on the Company (or any of its direct or indirect subsidiaries), (ii) hire directly or through another entity any person who was an employee of the Company (or any of its direct or indirect subsidiaries) during the six-month period immediately prior to the date on which such hiring would take place in the case of an employee who voluntarily terminates his employment with the Company (or any of its direct or indirect subsidiaries), (iii) induce or attempt to induce any customer, supplier, licensee or other business relation of the Company (or any of its direct or indirect subsidiaries) to cease doing business with the Company (or any of its direct or indirect subsidiaries), or in any way interfere with the relationship between any such customer, supplier, licensee or business relation and the Company (or its direct or indirect subsidiaries) (including, without limitation, making any negative statements or communications concerning the Company (or any of its direct or indirect subsidiaries)) in a manner that has an adverse effect on the Company (or any of its direct or indirect subsidiaries), or (iv) solicit or accept any business of the nature performed or provided by the Company from any customer, supplier, licensee or other business relation of the Company and that Executive will not take any steps, directly or indirectly, to cause or to assist any other person to cause any customer, supplier, licensee or other business relation of the Company to cease doing business with the Company, or to decrease its level of business with the Company. For purposes of this Section 8(b), the term "customer, supplier, licensee or other business relation of the Company" shall be limited to any person, business, or entity that was a customer, supplier, licensee or other business relation of the Company and (i) that Executive had contact with during Executive's last twelve (12) months of employment; or (ii) about which Executive possessed or had access to confidential information during Executive's last twelve (12) months of employment with the Company.

        c.    Preservation of Confidential Information.    Unless required by law or pursuant to a final, non-appealable court order, at all times during and after the Noncompetition Period, Executive shall keep secret and retain in strictest confidence, and shall not use for the benefit of Executive or others, or disclose to others, all confidential information or matters of the Company (or its direct or indirect subsidiaries), including, without limitation, trade secrets, product information, customer lists, details of contracts, pricing policies, price lists, operational methods, Executive lists and evaluations, marketing plans or strategies, business acquisition plans and new personnel acquisition plans of the Company (or its direct or indirect subsidiaries) learned by Executive heretofore or hereafter. For the purposes of this Agreement, "confidential information or matters of the Company" does not include information which is or becomes generally available to the public, other than as a result of a disclosure in violation of this Agreement.

        d.    Remedies.    Executive acknowledges and agrees that the foregoing obligations set forth in this Section 8 are material terms of this Agreement and that his compliance with the same are a condition to his receipt of the payments and benefits described and set forth in Section 2 of this Agreement. The Company has the right to discontinue such payments and benefits, and Executive shall forfeit his right to such payments and benefits and must tender any such payments previously made to Executive back to the Company, in the event Executive fails to comply with any of the foregoing obligations of this Section 8. In addition to, and without limitation of, any rights which the Company may otherwise have, at law or in equity, the Company shall also have the right to

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temporary, preliminary, and permanent injunctive relief against Executive in a court of competent jurisdiction in the event of such breach, or threatened breach, in addition to any other equitable relief (including without limitation an accounting and/or disgorgement) and/or any other damages as a matter of law. Executive also agrees that the Company is entitled to its reasonable attorneys' fees and costs incurred in enforcing this Agreement or successfully prosecuting or defending any action under this Agreement. Furthermore, no bond need be posted in conjunction with the application for, or issuance of, an injunction (which requirement is hereby specifically and expressly waived by Executive).

        e.    Acknowledgments.    Executive acknowledges that the scope and length of the restrictions placed on Executive hereby are fair, reasonable, and lawful and are limited and narrowly tailored to protect the legitimate business interests of the Company. If a court shall determine that the scope or length of any such restriction is unduly broad or long, the court may modify such restrictions as necessary to make the same lawful and enforceable to the fullest extent under the law.

        9.    Indemnification.    Executive understands that in the event legal action is taken against the Company and/or him in which he is a named defendant after the Retirement Date, that any indemnification obligations from the Company which applied to him as an officer of the Company, including, but not limited to any and all applicable insurance coverage such as directors and officers liability insurance coverage, will continue and the same protections will be afforded to him in the future that existed as of the date of this Agreement. In that regard, Executive's Indemnification Agreement with the Company, dated July 26, 2006, shall remain in effect following the Retirement Date in accordance with its terms.

        10.    Return of Property.    Executive shall return to the Company all credit cards, identification cards, access cards, keys and all other Company property which may be in the Executive's possession or control.

        11.    No Confidentiality.    The parties acknowledge and agree that the Company may be required to disclose and publish this Agreement in a Report on Form 8-K or otherwise pursuant to federal securities laws.

        12.    Modification of Agreement.    This Agreement may not be changed, amended or waived except by another written agreement signed by both parties.

        13.    Non-Admission.    Executive and the Company mutually agree that this Agreement is not to be construed as an admission, by either party, that either party has violated any law or breached any of the Company's policies or procedures with respect to Executive's employment or retirement therefrom, and both parties deny any wrongdoing or liability with respect thereto.

        14.    Choice of Law/Severability.    This Agreement will be construed under the laws of the State of South Carolina. If any provision of this Agreement is held by a court to be invalid or unenforceable, the provision shall be reformed by the court to the extent necessary to render it valid or enforceable. Failing reformation, this Agreement shall be construed as if the invalid and/or unenforceable provision had never been contained herein.

        15.    Entire Agreement.    This Agreement, together with the Company's 2004 Omnibus Stock Plan, applicable award agreements under that plan with respect to vested awards, the 2005 Restricted Stock Agreement, the 2005 Stock Option Agreement with respect to vested stock options, and Executive's Indemnification Agreement with the Company, constitute the entire agreement between the parties with respect to the subject matter hereof and supersedes and cancels all prior or contemporaneous oral or written agreements and understandings between them with respect to the subject matter hereof. To the extent there are any inconsistencies between the terms of this Agreement and the other agreements referred to above, the provisions of this Agreement shall control. The parties agree that if any clause, paragraph, or sub-paragraph in this Agreement is found to be invalid, such invalidity will not affect the validity of the other clauses herein.

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        16.    Acknowledgement.    By signing below, Executive acknowledges that Executive has read, understands and voluntarily enters into the Agreement and acknowledges that this Agreement is written in such a manner that he understands the terms and conditions of the Agreement and he, pursuant to the terms of the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act:

a.

Has been provided twenty-one (21) days to consider this Agreement;

b.

Has been informed that he may revoke this Agreement by providing notice to the Company within seven (7) days after he has executed this Agreement;

c.

Has been advised, in writing by this Section, to consult an attorney regarding this Agreement.

        IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Company has caused this Agreement to be signed by its duly authorized officer, and Executive has hereunto set his hand and seal, all as of the day and year first above written.

KENNETH E. COMPTON

 

ADVANCE AMERICA, CASH ADVANCE CENTERS, INC.


/s/ Kenneth E. Compton



 


/s/ J. Patrick O'Shaughnessy


 

 

By:    J. Patrick O'Shaughnessy


March 8, 2011
Date


 


March 8, 2011
Date


/s/ Kathryn R. Compton


Witness


 


 

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Exhibit 10.22

RETIREMENT AGREEMENT AND GENERAL RELEASE

 

EX-10.23 5 a2202472zex-10_23.htm EX-10.23
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Exhibit 10.23

Change of Control Agreement

March 7, 2011

JOHN PATRICK O'SHAUGHNESSY
135 NORTH CHURCH STREET
SPARTANBURG, SC 29306

Dear Patrick:

        Advance America, Cash Advance Centers, Inc., a Delaware corporation (the "Company"), considers it essential to the best interests of its stockholders to take reasonable steps to retain key management personnel. Further, the Board of Directors of the Company (the "Board") recognizes that the uncertainty and questions that might arise among management in the context of any possible Change of Control (as defined below) of the Company could result in the departure or distraction of management personnel to the detriment of the Company and its stockholders.

        In order to reinforce and encourage your continued attention and dedication to your assigned duties without distraction in the face of potentially disturbing circumstances arising from any possible Change of Control, the Company has determined to enter into this letter agreement (the "Agreement"), which addresses the terms and conditions of your separation from the Company in connection with or within two (2) years following a Change of Control (the "Change of Control Period"). Capitalized words that are not otherwise defined herein shall have the meanings assigned to those words in Section 11 hereof.

        1.    Operation of Agreement.    The provisions of this Agreement pertaining to the terms and conditions of your separation from the Company in connection with a Change in Control (collectively, the "Severance Provisions") shall apply only if a Change of Control occurs during the Effective Period. If a Change of Control occurs during the Effective Period, the Severance Provisions become effective on the date of the Change of Control (the "Change of Control Date"). Notwithstanding the foregoing, if (a) a Change of Control occurs during the Effective Period; and (b) your employment with the Company is terminated during the Effective Period, but within twelve (12) months prior to the date on which the Change of Control occurs; and (c) it is reasonably demonstrated by you that such termination of employment (i) was at the request of a third party that has taken steps reasonably calculated to effect a Change of Control or (ii) otherwise arose in connection with or in anticipation of a Change of Control, then the "Change of Control Date" shall mean the date immediately prior to the date of such termination of employment. This Agreement will remain in effect until the later of (x) the last day of the Effective Period; or (y) if a Change of Control occurs during the Effective Period, the date on which all benefits due to you under this Agreement, if any, have been paid.

        2.    Termination of Employment by Reason of Death or Disability.    Your employment shall terminate automatically if you die during the Change of Control Period. If the Company determines in good faith that you incurred a Disability during the Change of Control Period, it may give you written notice, in accordance with Section 5 hereof, of its intention to terminate your employment. In such event, your employment with the Company shall terminate effective on the thirtieth (30) calendar day after your receipt of such notice if you have not returned to full-time duties within thirty (30) calendar days after such receipt. If your employment is terminated for death or Disability during the Change of Control Period, this Agreement shall terminate without further obligations on the part of the Company other than the obligation to pay to you or your representative, as applicable, the following amounts:

        (a)   the Accrued Obligations, which shall be paid to you in a single sum cash payment no later than the later of (i) fifteen (15) calendar days following the Date of Termination or (ii) the effective date of the Waiver and Release:

        (b)   the Pro Rata Bonus, which shall be paid to you in a single sum cash payment no later than the later of (i) fifteen (15) calendar days following the Date of Termination or (ii) the effective date of the Waiver and Release; and


        (c)   the Other Benefits, which shall be paid in accordance with the terms and conditions of such plans, programs, policies, arrangements or agreements.

        3.    Termination for Cause; Resignation Other Than for Good Reason.    If your employment is terminated for Cause or you resign for other than Good Reason during the Change of Control Period, your employment will terminate on the Date of Termination in accordance with Section 5 hereof and this Agreement shall terminate without further obligations on the part of the Company other than the obligation to pay to you the following:

        (a)   the Accrued Obligations, which shall be paid to you in a single sum payment within thirty (30) calendar days of the Date of Termination; and

        (b)   the Other Benefits, which shall be paid in accordance with the terms and conditions of such plans, programs or policies.

        4.    Termination as a Result of an Involuntary Termination.    In the event that your employment with the Company should terminate during the Change of Control Period as a result of an Involuntary Termination, the Company will be obligated, except as provided in Section 8 or Section 9 hereof, to provide you the following benefits:

        (a)    Severance Payment.    The Company shall pay to you the following amounts:

          (i)  the Accrued Obligations, which shall be paid to you in a single sum cash payment no later than the later of (A) fifteen (15) calendar days following the Date of Termination or (B) the effective date of the Waiver and Release;

         (ii)  the Pro Rata Bonus, which shall be paid to you in a single sum cash payment no later than the later of (A) fifteen (15) calendar days following the Date of Termination or (B) the effective date of the Waiver and Release;

        (iii)  an amount equal to the product of (A) 2.5 times (B) the sum of (1) your Adjusted Base Salary plus (2) your Target Bonus, which amount shall be paid to you in a single sum cash payment no later than the later of (i) fifteen (15) calendar days following the Date of Termination or (ii) the effective date of the Waiver and Release;

        (iv)  if you had previously consented to the Company's request to relocate your principal place of employment more than fifty (50) miles from its location immediately prior to the Change of Control Date, all unreimbursed relocation expenses incurred by you in accordance with the Company's relocation policies, which expenses shall be paid to you in a single sum cash payment no later than the later of (A) fifteen (15) calendar days following the Date of Termination or (B) the effective date of the Waiver and Release; and

         (v)  the Other Benefits, which shall be paid in accordance with the then-existing terms and conditions of such plans, programs or policies.

        (b)    Benefit Continuation.    You and your then eligible dependents shall continue to be covered by and participate in the group health and dental care plans (collectively, "Health Plans") of the Company (at the Company's cost) in which you participated immediately prior to the Date of Termination through the end of the Benefit Continuation Period; provided, however, that any medical or dental welfare benefit otherwise receivable by you hereunder shall terminate to the extent that you and your then eligible dependents become covered under a group health or dental care plan providing a comparable benefit. You shall be eligible to participate in such Health Plans on terms that are at least as favorable as those in effect immediately prior to the Date of Termination. However, in the event the Company determines on or prior to the Date of Termination that (i) the terms of the Company's Health Plans do not permit you to participate in those plans (other than pursuant to an election under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget

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Reconciliation Act of 1985 ("COBRA")) or (ii) your participation in such plans would cause such plans to fail to meet the requirements for tax-favored group health plan coverage under the Code, in lieu of your and your eligible dependent's coverage and participation under the Company's Health Plans, the Company shall pay to you within thirty (30) calendar days of the Date of Termination a lump sum equal to two (2) times your monthly COBRA premium amount for the number of months remaining in the Benefit Continuation Period. In addition, for the purposes of eligibility for COBRA continuation coverage, your "qualifying event" as defined under COBRA will be the date of loss of coverage described in this paragraph above.

        (c)    Outplacement Services.    The Company shall, at its sole expense as incurred, provide you with outplacement services on such terms and conditions as may be determined by the Company prior to the Change of Control Date.

        (d)    Acceleration of Stock Awards.    All your outstanding awards of restricted stock, stock options, and other equity-based compensation shall become fully vested and exercisable in full immediately upon the Date of Termination; provided, however, that any such awards that would be out of the money as of the Date of Termination may be terminated pursuant to Section 9(b) hereof. In addition, all your outstanding awards of restricted stock, stock options, and other equity-based compensation that are not assumed or substituted with awards of equivalent value in connection with a Change of Control shall become fully vested and exercisable in full immediate upon the Change of Control Date.

        5.    Date and Notice of Termination.    Any termination of your employment by the Company or by you during the Change of Control Period shall be communicated by a notice of termination to the other party hereto (the "Notice of Termination"). The Notice of Termination shall indicate the specific termination provision in this Agreement relied upon and shall set forth in reasonable detail the facts and circumstances claimed to provide a basis for termination of your employment under the provision so indicated. The date of your termination of employment with the Company (the "Date of Termination") shall be determined as follows: (i) if your employment is terminated for Disability, thirty (30) calendar days after a Notice of Termination is received by you (provided that you shall not have returned to the full-time performance of your duties during such thirty (30) calendar day period), (ii) if your employment is terminated by the Company in an Involuntary Termination, the later of the date specified in the Notice of Termination or five (5) calendar days after the date the Notice of Termination is received by you, (iii) if you terminate your employment for Good Reason, five (5) calendar days after the date the Notice of Termination is received by the Company, and (iv) if your employment is terminated by the Company for Cause, the later of the date specified in the Notice of Termination or five (5) calendar days following the date such notice is received by you. The Date of Termination for a resignation of employment other than for Good Reason shall be the date set forth in the applicable notice.

        6.    No Mitigation or Offset.    You shall not be required to mitigate the amount of any payment provided for herein by seeking other employment or otherwise, nor shall the amount of any payment or benefit provided for herein be reduced by any compensation earned by you as the result of employment by another employer after the Date of Termination or otherwise.

        7.    Confidentiality.    You agree to treat all Confidential Information as confidential information entrusted to you solely for use as an employee of the Company, and shall not divulge, reveal or transmit any Confidential Information in any way to persons not employed by the Company at any time from the date hereof until the end of time, whether or not you continue to be an employee of the Company, unless authorized in writing by the Company.

        8.    Code Section 409A.    This Agreement is intended to comply with the provisions of Section 409A of the Code and this Agreement should be interpreted accordingly; the parties intend that any payments hereunder that would otherwise be subject to Section 409A shall be made within the

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short-term deferral period provided in the Treasury Regulations adopted pursuant to Section 409A. Without limiting any of the foregoing and notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained herein, if you are a "specified employee," as defined in Section 409A of the Code, at the time you would otherwise be entitled to receive any specific payment hereunder, no distributions shall be made with respect to that specific payment until the earliest date permitted by Section 409A(a)(2) of the Code. All other payments that do not result in any additional payments, liability or penalties shall be made as specified.

        9.    Certain Reduction of Payments by the Company.    

        (a)    Best Net.    Anything in this Agreement to the contrary notwithstanding, in the event that the independent auditors of the Company (the "Accounting Firm") determine that receipt of all payments or distributions in the nature of compensation to or for your benefit, whether paid or payable pursuant to this Agreement or otherwise ("Payments"), would subject you to tax under Section 4999 of the Code, the Payments paid or payable pursuant to this Agreement (the "COC Payments"), including payments made with respect to equity-based compensation accelerated pursuant to Section 4(d) hereof, but excluding payments made with respect to Sections 4(a)(i) and 4(a)(ii) hereof (except as provided below), may be reduced (but not below zero) to the Reduced Amount, but only if the Accounting Firm determines that the Net After-Tax Receipt of unreduced aggregate Payments would be equal to or less than one hundred and ten percent (110%) of the Net After-Tax Receipt of the aggregate Payments as if the COC Payments were reduced to the Reduced Amount. If such a determination is not made by the Accounting Firm, you shall receive all COC Payments to which you are entitled under this Agreement.

        (b)    Reduced Amount.    If the Accounting Firm determines that Agreement Payments should be reduced to the Reduced Amount, the Company shall promptly give you notice to that effect and a copy of the detailed calculation thereof. Absent manifest error, all determinations made by the Accounting Firm under this Section 9 shall be binding upon you and the Company and shall be made as soon as reasonably practicable and in no event later than twenty (20) business days following the Change of Control Date, or such later date on which there has been a Payment. For purposes of reducing the COC Payments to the Reduced Amount, only amounts payable under this Agreement (and no other Payments) shall be reduced. The reduction of the COC Payments, if applicable, shall be made by reducing the payments and benefits under the following sections hereof in the following order and only to the extent necessary to achieve the Reduced Amount:

 

 

first,

 

any equity-based awards that would vest and become exercisable in full pursuant to Section 4(d) hereof and that would be out of the money as of the Date of Termination shall terminate;


 


 


second,


 


cash severance payments pursuant to Section 4(a)(iii) hereof shall be reduced;


 


 


third,


 


payment of the Pro Rata Bonus pursuant to Section 4(a)(ii) hereof shall be reduced if, and only to the extent, such payment is determined not to be reasonable compensation for personal services actually rendered by you on or prior to the Date of Termination;


 


 


fourth,


 


outplacement services pursuant to Section 4(c) hereof shall be forfeited;


 


 


fifth,


 


the acceleration of equity based awards pursuant to Section 4(d) hereof shall be forfeited; and


 


 


lastly,


 


benefit continuation pursuant to Section 4(b) hereof shall be forfeited.

All fees and expenses of the Accounting Firm in implementing the provisions of this Section 9 shall be borne by the Company. To the extent requested by you, the Company shall cooperate with you in good faith in valuing services provided or to be provided by you (including without

4


limitation, your agreeing to refrain from performing services pursuant to a covenant not to compete or similar covenant) before, on or after the date of a change in ownership or control of the Company (within the meaning of Q&A-2(b) of the Treasury Regulations adopted under Section 280G of the Code (the "Regulations")), such that payments in respect of such services may be considered reasonable compensation within the meaning of Q&A-9 and Q&A-40 to Q&A-44 of the Regulations and/or exempt from the definition of the term "parachute payment" within the meaning of Q&A-2(a) of the Regulations in accordance with Q&A-5(a) of the Regulations.

        (c)    Subsequent Adjustment.    As a result of the uncertainty in the application of Section 4999 of the Code at the time of the initial determination by the Accounting Firm hereunder, it is possible that amounts will have been paid or distributed by the Company to you or for your benefit pursuant to this Agreement which should not have been so paid or distributed ("Overpayment") or that additional amounts which will have not been paid or distributed by the Company to you or for your benefit pursuant to this Agreement could have been so paid or distributed ("Underpayment"), in each case, consistent with the calculation of the Reduced Amount hereunder. In the event that the Accounting Firm, based upon the assertion of a deficiency by the Internal Revenue Service against either the Company or you that the Accounting Firm believes has a high probability of success, determines that an Overpayment has been made, you shall pay any such Overpayment to the Company; provided, however, that no amount shall be payable by you to the Company if and to the extent such payment would not either reduce the amount of taxes to which you are subject under Sections 1 and 4999 of the Code or generate a refund of such taxes. In the event that the Accounting Firm, based upon controlling precedent or substantial authority, determines that an Underpayment has occurred, any such Underpayment shall be paid promptly (and in no event later than sixty (60) days following the date on which the Underpayment is determined) by the Company to you or for your benefit.

        10.    Successors; Binding Agreement.    

        (a)    Assumption by Successor.    The Company will require any successor (whether direct or indirect, by purchase, merger, consolidation or otherwise) to all or substantially all of the business or assets of the Company expressly to assume and to agree to perform its obligations under this Agreement in the same manner and to the same extent that the Company would be required to perform such obligations if no such succession had taken place; provided, however, that no such assumption shall relieve the Company of its obligations hereunder. As used herein, the "Company" shall mean the Company as hereinbefore defined and any successor to its business or assets as aforesaid which assumes and agrees to perform its obligations by operation of law or otherwise.

        (b)    Enforceability; Beneficiaries.    This Agreement shall be binding upon and inure to the benefit of you (and your personal representatives and heirs) and the Company and any organization which succeeds to substantially all of the business or assets of the Company, whether by means of merger, consolidation, acquisition of all or substantially all of the assets of the Company or otherwise, including, without limitation, as a result of a Change of Control or by operation of law. This Agreement shall inure to the benefit of and be enforceable by your personal or legal representatives, executors, administrators, successors, heirs, distributees, devisees and legatees. If you should die while any amount would still be payable to you hereunder if you had continued to live, all such amounts, unless otherwise provided herein, shall be paid in accordance with the terms of this Agreement to your devisee, legatee or other designee or, if there is no such designee, to your estate.

5


        11.    Definitions.    For purposes of this Agreement, the following capitalized terms have the meanings set forth below:

        (a)   "Accounting Firm" has the meaning assigned thereto in Section 9 hereof.

        (b)   "Accrued Obligations" shall mean all compensation earned or accrued through the Termination Date but not paid as of the Termination Date, including base salary, bonus for the prior performance year, accrued but unused vacation, and reimbursement of business expenses accrued in accordance with the Company's business expense reimbursement policies.

        (c)   "Adjusted Base Salary" means the greater of your base salary in effect immediately prior to (i) the Change of Control Date or (ii) the Date of Termination.

        (d)   "Agreement" has the meaning assigned thereto in the second introductory paragraph hereof.

        (e)   "Benefit Continuation Period" means the period beginning on the Date of Termination and ending on the last day of the month in which occurs the earlier of (i) the thirty (30) month anniversary of the Date of Termination and (ii) the date on which you elect coverage for you and your covered dependents under substantially comparable benefit plans of a subsequent employer.

        (f)    "Board" has the meaning assigned thereto in the first introductory paragraph hereof.

        (g)   "Bonus Opportunity" for any performance year means your maximum cash bonus opportunity for that year, on the assumption that the Company achieves all applicable performance targets and that you achieve all applicable individual performance criteria.

        (h)   "Cause" shall mean (i) your engaging in willful and continued failure to substantially perform your material duties with the Company (other than due to becoming Disabled); provided, however, that the Company shall have provided you with written notice of such failure within sixty (60) calendar days of the most recent occurrence and such failure is not cured by you within twenty (20) calendar days of such notice; (ii) your conviction of, or plea of no contest to, a felony, other crime of moral turpitude; or (iii) a final non-appealable adjudication in a criminal or civil proceeding that you have committed fraud. For purposes of the previous sentence, no act or failure to act on your part shall be deemed "willful" if it is done, or omitted to be done, by you in good faith and with a reasonable belief that it was in the best interest of the Company.

        (i)    "Change of Control" shall mean:

          (i)  (A) any "person" within the meaning of Section 13(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the "Exchange Act"), other than George D. Johnson, Jr., his wife, any of his children, any of his grandchildren, any trusts of which the foregoing are the sole beneficiaries, any entities owned solely by the foregoing, and/or the Phifer/Johnson Foundation (collectively, the "Johnson Group"), is or becomes the beneficial owner within the meaning of Rule 13d-3 of the Exchange Act, directly or indirectly, of more than thirty percent (30%) of the combined voting power of the Company's then outstanding securities in a single or series of transactions; or (B) the Johnson Group, separately or together with any other person, is or becomes the beneficial owner within the meaning of Rule 13d-3 of the Exchange Act, directly or indirectly, of more than forty percent (40%) of the combined voting power of the Company's then outstanding securities in a single or series of transactions;

         (ii)  during any period of two consecutive years (not including any period prior to the Effective Date), individuals who at the beginning of such period constituted the Board and any new directors, whose election by the Board or nomination for election by the Company's stockholders was approved by a vote of at least three-fourths of the directors then still in office who either were directors at the beginning of the period or whose election or

6


 

nomination for election was previously so approved, cease for any reason to constitute a majority thereof; or

        (iii)  there occurs a sale of all or substantially all of the assets of the Company (whether such assets are held directly or indirectly), a reorganization, merger or consolidation of the Company, or any other corporate transaction involving the Company (a "Business Combination"), in each case with respect to which the stockholders of the Company immediately prior to such transaction do not, immediately after such transaction, own directly or indirectly more than 50% of the combined voting power of the Company or other corporation resulting from such Business Combination in substantially the same proportions as their ownership, immediately prior to such Business Combination, of the voting securities of the Company.

        (j)    "Change of Control Date" has the meaning assigned thereto in Section 1 hereof.

        (k)   "Change of Control Period" has the meaning assigned thereto in the second introductory paragraph hereof.

        (l)    "COC Payments" has the meaning assigned thereto in Section 9 hereof.

        (m)  "Code" shall mean the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, and the rules and regulations promulgated thereunder.

        (n)   "Company" has the meaning assigned thereto in the first introductory paragraph hereof.

        (o)   "Confidential Information" shall mean all financial information, trade secrets, personnel records, training and operational manuals, records, contracts, lists, business procedures, business methods, accounts, brochures, handbooks and all other documents relating to the Company or persons doing business with the Company

        (p)   "Date of Termination" has the meaning assigned thereto in Section 5 hereof.

        (q)   "Disability" shall mean your incapacity due to physical or mental illness as defined in the long-term disability plan sponsored by the Company or an affiliate of the Company for your benefit and which causes you to be absent from the full-time performance of your duties.

        (r)   "Effective Period" shall mean the period commencing on the date hereof and ending on March 6, 2012; provided, however, that beginning on March 7, 2011 and on each March 7 thereafter (each such date a "Renewal Date"), the Effective Period shall be automatically extended for a period of two years beginning on such Renewal Date, unless at least sixty (60) calendar days prior to such Renewal Date, the Company shall give notice that the Effective Period shall not be so extended.

        (s)   "Good Reason" shall mean the occurrence of any of the following events or circumstances:

          (i)  a substantial adverse change in your title, position, offices, authority, status, the nature of your duties or responsibilities from those in effect immediately prior to the Change of Control Date, or the position, level, or status of the person to whom you report.

         (ii)  a reduction by the Company in your annual base salary, Target Bonus, or benefits as in effect immediately prior to the Change of Control Date or as the same may be increased from time to time thereafter, other than a general reduction in benefits applicable across similarly situated executives within the Company;

        (iii)  a failure by the Company to pay you material compensation or benefits when due including, without limitation, failure by the Company to pay any relocation expenses or Other Benefits accrued prior to the Effective Date;

7


        (iv)  the relocation of the office of the Company where you are principally employed immediately prior to the Change of Control Date to a location which is more than fifty (50) miles from such office of the Company (except for required travel on the Company's business to an extent substantially consistent with your customary business travel obligations in the ordinary course of business prior to the Change of Control Date); or

         (v)  any failure by a successor to the Company to assume and agree to perform this Agreement as contemplated by Section 10(a) hereof or any agreement with respect to your outstanding equity awards.

provided, however, that no event or condition set forth in subparagraphs (i) through (iii) above shall constitute Good Reason unless (x) you give the Company written notice of your objection to such event or condition within sixty (60) calendar days of such event or condition and (y) such event or condition is not corrected, in all material respects, by the Company within thirty (30) calendar days of its receipt of such notice; and provided, further, however, that your mental or physical incapacity following the occurrence of an event described above in subparagraphs (i) through (v) above shall not affect your ability to terminate employment for Good Reason and that your death following delivery of a Notice of Termination shall not affect your estate's entitlement to the payments and benefits provided hereunder upon an Involuntary Termination.

        (t)    "Involuntary Termination" shall mean, during the Change of Control Period, (i) your termination of employment by the Company without Cause or (ii) your resignation of employment with the Company for Good Reason.

        (u)   "Net After-Tax Receipt" shall mean the present value (as determined in accordance with Section 280G(d)(4) of the Code) of a Payment net of all taxes imposed on you with respect thereto under Sections 1 and 4999 of the Code and under applicable state and local laws, determined by applying the highest marginal rate under Section 1 of the Code and under state and local laws which applied to your taxable income for the immediately preceding taxable year, or such other rate(s) as you certify as likely to apply to you in the relevant tax year(s).

        (v)   "Notice of Termination" has the meaning assigned thereto in Section 5 hereof.

        (w)  "Other Benefits" means, to the extent not theretofore paid or provided, any other amounts or benefits required to be paid or provided to you or that you are eligible to receive under any plan, program, policy, practice, contract or agreement of the Company in accordance with such applicable terms at the time of the Date of Termination. Nothing herein shall prohibit the Company from changing, modifying, amending, or eliminating any benefit plans prior to the Date of Termination, with or without prior notice. In all circumstances, the terms and provisions of any benefits plans will control.

        (x)   "Overpayment" has the meaning assigned thereto in Section 9 hereof.

        (y)   "Pro Rata Bonus" means a pro rata portion of your Projected Bonus for the performance year in which the Date of Termination occurs, calculated based on the number of days that you are employed in the performance year up through and including the Date of Termination.

        (z)   "Projected Bonus" means the portion of your Bonus Opportunity the Compensation Committee of the Board determines in good faith to be reasonable compensation for personal services actually rendered by you on or prior to the Date of Termination. When making such determination, the Compensation Committee of the Board shall assess actual performance for the partial year up through and including the Date of Termination relative to the applicable Company and individual performance targets, with such targets being adjusted to reflect the partial performance cycle, and shall consider the seasonality of the Company's historic performance and

8


 

such other adjustments for extraordinary events as the Compensation Committee deems appropriate.

        (aa) "Payment" has the meaning assigned thereto in Section 9 hereof.

        (bb) "Reduced Amount" shall mean $1,000.00 less than the greatest amount of COC Payments that can be paid that would not result in the imposition of the excise tax under Section 4999 of the Code.

        (cc) "Target Bonus" for any year means your total cash target, but not maximum, bonus for that year, on the assumption that the Company has achieved, but not exceeded, all applicable performance targets and that you have achieved, but not exceeded, all applicable individual performance criteria.

        (dd) "Underpayment" has the meaning assigned thereto in Section 9 hereof.

        (ee) "Tax Authority" has the meaning assigned thereto in Section 9 hereof.

        12.    Notice.    For the purpose of this Agreement, notices and all other communications provided for in this Agreement shall be in writing and shall be deemed to have been duly given when delivered or mailed by United States registered mail, return receipt requested, postage prepaid, addressed to the Board of Directors, Advance America, Cash Advance Centers, Inc., 135 North Church, Spartanburg, South Carolina 29306, with a copy to the General Counsel of the Company, or to you at the address set forth on the first page of this Agreement or to such other address as either party may have furnished to the other in writing in accordance herewith, except that notice of change of address shall be effective only upon receipt.

        13.    Release.    As a condition to receiving any payments or benefits pursuant to this Agreement by reason of your death, Disability or Involuntary Termination, you (or in the case of your death, the executor of your estate) must execute a waiver and release of claims, including confidentiality and non-disparagement covenants, substantially in the form approved by the Company prior to the Change of Control Date (as set forth on Exhibit A attached hereto) (a "Waiver and Release"), and such Waiver and Release must be delivered to the Company no later than 60 days after the end of your taxable year in which occurs the later of (i) the Change of Control Date or (ii) the termination of your employment with the Company.

        14.    Arbitration.    Any dispute or controversy arising under or in connection with this Agreement that cannot be mutually resolved by the parties hereto shall be settled exclusively by arbitration in Spartanburg, South Carolina under the employment arbitration rules of the American Arbitration Association before one arbitrator of exemplary qualifications and stature, who shall be selected jointly by the Company and you, or, if the Company and you cannot agree on the selection of the arbitrator, such arbitrator shall be selected by the American Arbitration Association. Judgment may be entered on the arbitrator's award in any court having jurisdiction. The parties hereby agree that the arbitrator shall be empowered to enter an equitable decree mandating specific enforcement of the terms of this Agreement. Costs and fees of the arbitration will be divided equitably by the arbitrator between both parties; provided, however, that in the event that you prevail over the Company in connection with an arbitration arising out of the breach of this Agreement, the Company shall be liable for all reasonable attorney's fees and expenses incurred in connection with any action for damages or the enforcement of any provision of this Agreement brought by you.

        15.    Miscellaneous.    

        (a)    Amendments, Waivers, Etc.    No provision of this Agreement may be modified, waived or discharged unless such waiver, modification or discharge is agreed to in writing. No waiver by either party hereto at any time of any breach by the other party hereto of, or compliance with, any condition or provision of this Agreement to be performed by such other party shall be deemed a

9


waiver of similar or dissimilar provisions or conditions at the same or at any prior or subsequent time. No agreements or representations, oral or otherwise, express or implied, with respect to the subject matter hereof have been made by either party which are not expressly set forth in this Agreement and this Agreement shall supersede all prior agreements, negotiations, correspondence, undertakings and communications of the parties, oral or written, with respect to the subject matter hereof.

        (b)    Validity.    The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of this Agreement shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision of this Agreement, which shall remain in full force and effect.

        (c)    Counterparts.    This Agreement may be executed in several counterparts, each of which shall be deemed to be an original but all of which together will constitute one and the same instrument.

        (d)    No Contract of Employment.    Nothing in this Agreement shall be construed as giving you any right to be retained in the employ of the Company or shall affect the terms and conditions of your employment with the Company prior to the commencement of the Change of Control Period.

        (e)    Withholding.    Amounts paid to you hereunder shall be subject to all applicable federal, state and local withholding taxes.

        (f)    Source of Payments.    All payments provided under this Agreement shall be paid in cash from the general funds of the Company, and no special or separate fund shall be established, and no other segregation of assets made, to assure payment. You will have no right, title or interest whatsoever in or to any investments which the Company may make to aid it in meeting its obligations hereunder. To the extent that any person acquires a right to receive payments from the Company hereunder, such right shall be no greater than the right of an unsecured creditor of the Company.

        (g)    Headings.    The headings contained in this Agreement are intended solely for convenience of reference and shall not affect the rights of the parties to this Agreement.

        (h)    Governing Law.    This Agreement shall be subject to the laws of the state of South Carolina, without regard to conflicts of law.

*      *      *      *      *

10


        By signing below, you acknowledge that this Agreement sets forth our agreement on the subject matter hereof. Kindly sign and return to the Company the enclosed copy of this letter which will then constitute our agreement on this subject.

 

 

Sincerely,


 


 


ADVANCE AMERICA, CASH ADVANCE CENTERS, INC.


 


 


By:


 


/s/ W. Thomas Newell


 

 

Name:

 

W. THOMAS NEWELL

 

 

Title:

 

VICE PRESIDENTóLEGAL AND REGULATORY

Agreed to as of this 7th day of March, 2011

 

 


/s/ J. Patrick O'Shaughnessy



 


 

JOHN PATRICK O'SHAUGHNESSY,

 

 

PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

11



EXHIBIT A

WAIVER AND GENERAL RELEASE AGREEMENT

        This Waiver and Release Agreement (this "Release") is entered into as of the date indicated on the signature page of this Release by and between Advance America, Cash Advance Centers, Inc., a Delaware corporation (the "Company") and J. Patrick O'Shaughnessy ("Employee"). Employee has been employed by the Company, and the parties are entering into this Release because the employment relationship is ending, without fault or wrongdoing on the part of either the Company or Employee, who agree as follows:

        1.    Release.    (a) In exchange for the valuable consideration set forth in the Change of Control Agreement dated as of March 7, 2011 (the "Letter Agreement"), between Employee and the Company, the receipt and adequacy of which are herein acknowledged, Employee hereby agrees to release and forever discharge the Company and its present, former and future partners, shareholder, affiliates, direct and indirect parents, subsidiaries, successors, directors, officers, employees, agents, attorneys, heirs and assigns (the "Released Parties"), from any and all claims, actions and causes of action (the "Claims") arising out of (i) his employment relationship with and service as an employee of the Company and its affiliates, and the termination of such relationship or service, or (ii) any event, condition, circumstance or obligation that occurred, existed or arose on or prior to the date hereof, including, but not limited to any Claims under the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans With Disabilities Act of 1990, the Civil Rights Act of 1866, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act; the California Workers' Compensation Act; the California Unruh and Ralph Civil Rights Laws; the California Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation Law and any other federal, state or local law, statute, regulation or ordinance, or law of any foreign jurisdiction, whether such Claim arises under statute or common law and whether or not Employee is presently aware of the existence of such Claim. Employee also forever releases, discharges and waives any right he may have to recover in any proceeding brought by any federal, state or local agency against the Released Parties to enforce any laws. To ensure that this Release is fully enforceable in accordance with its terms, Employee agrees to waive any and all rights to any Claims, whether or not he knows or suspects them to exist in his favor, which if known to him would have materially affected his execution of this Release. Notwithstanding the foregoing, this Release does not apply to Employee's rights, claims, or benefits under the Letter Agreement or to Employee's rights, if any, to payment of benefits pursuant to any employee benefit plan.

        (b)   To ensure that this Release is fully enforceable in accordance with its terms, Employee hereby agrees to waive any and all rights under Section 1542 of the California Civil Code (to the extent applicable) as it exists from time to time, which provides:

A general release does not extend to claims which the creditor
does not know or suspect to exist in his favor at the time of
executing the release, which if known by him must have
materially affected his settlement with the debtor.

        In addition, to ensure that this Release is fully enforceable in accordance with its terms, Employee hereby agrees to waive any protection that may exist under any comparable or similar statute and under any principle of common law of the United States or any and all States.

        EMPLOYEE UNDERSTANDS THAT, BY SIGNING THIS RELEASE, EMPLOYEE WILL HAVE WAIVED ANY RIGHT THAT HE MAY HAVE TO BRING A LAWSUIT OR MAKE ANY CLAIM AGAINST THE COMPANY AND THE RELEASED PARTIES BASED ON ANY ACT OR OMISSIONS BY THEM UP TO THE DATE OF SIGNING THIS AGREEMENT.

A-1


        (c)   In further consideration of the payments and benefits provided to Employee under the Letter Agreement, Employee hereby releases and forever discharges the Released Parties from any and all Claims that he may have as of the date he signs this Release arising under the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, as amended, and the applicable rules and regulations promulgated thereunder ("ADEA"). By signing this Release, Employee hereby acknowledges and confirms the following: (i) he was advised by the Company in connection with his termination to consult with an attorney of his choice prior to signing this Release and to have such attorney explain to him the terms of this Release, including, without limitation, the terms relating to his release of claims arising under the ADEA; (ii) if Employee is 40 years of age or older as of the date of execution of this Release, he was given a period of not fewer than 21 calendar days to consider the terms of this Release and to consult with an attorney of his choosing with respect thereto; and (iii) he is providing the release and discharge set forth in this Paragraph 1(c) only in exchange for consideration in addition to anything of value to which he is already entitled.

        2.    No Legal Claim.    Employee has not commenced any legal action, which term includes, without limitation, any demand for arbitration proceedings and any charge, complaint, filing or submission with any federal, state or local agency, court or other tribunal, to assert any Claim against a Released Party, and covenants and agrees not to do so in the future with respect to the matters released herein. If Employee commences or joins any legal action against a Released Party, Employee agrees that such an action is prohibited by this Release, and further agrees to promptly indemnify such Released Party for its reasonable costs and attorneys fees incurred in defending such action as well as forfeit or return any monetary judgment obtained by Employee against any Released Party in such action. Nothing in this Paragraph 2 is intended to reflect any party's belief that Employee's waiver of claims under the ADEA is invalid or unenforceable under this Release, it being the intent of the parties that such claims are waived.

        3.    Nondisparagement.    Employee agrees to refrain, except as required by law or in connection with a judicial proceeding, from making directly or indirectly, now or at any time in the future, any written or oral statements, representations or other communications that disparage or are otherwise damaging to the business or reputation of the Released Parties.

        4.    Continuing Obligations.    This Release shall not supersede any continuing obligations Employee may have under the terms of the Letter Agreement or any other agreement between Employee and the Company.

        5.    Disclaimer.    Employee hereby certifies that Employee has read the terms of this Release, that Employee has been advised by the Company to consult with an attorney of Employee's own choice prior to executing this Release, that Employee has had an opportunity to do so, and that Employee understands the provisions and consequences of this Release. Employee further certifies that the Company has not made any representation to Employee concerning this Release other than those contained herein.

        6.    Governing Law.    This Release will be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of South Carolina.

        7.    Separability of Clauses.    If any provisions of this Release shall be finally determined to be invalid or unenforceable under applicable law by a court of competent jurisdiction, that part shall be ineffective to the extent of such invalidity or unenforceability only, without in any way affecting the remaining provisions of this Release.

        8.    Counterparts.    This Release may be executed by the parties hereto in counterparts, each of which shall be deemed an original, but both such counterparts shall together constitute one and the same document.

        9.    Effectiveness.    This Release shall be effective only when it has been executed by Employee and the executed original has been returned to the Company, and any applicable revocation period has expired.

A-2


        IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the Company has caused this Release to be signed by its duly authorized officer, and Employee has executed this Release as of the day and year indicated below Employee's signature.

 

 

ADVANCE AMERICA, CASH ADVANCE CENTERS, INC.


 


 


By:


 


  


 

 

 

 

Name:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Title:

 

 

If Employee is 40 years of age or older as of the date of execution of this Release, Employee shall have the right to revoke this Release during the seven-day period (the "Revocation Period") commencing immediately following the date he signs and delivers this Release to the Company. The Revocation Period shall expire at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on the last day of the Revocation Period; provided, however, that if such seventh day is not a business day, the Revocation Period shall extend to 5:00 p.m. on the next succeeding business day. In the event Employee revokes this Release, all obligations of the Company under this Release shall terminate and be of no further force and effect as of the date of such revocation. No such revocation by Employee shall be effective unless it is in writing and signed by him and received by the Company prior to the expiration of the Revocation Period at the following address: [INSERT NAME, TITLE, ADDRESS, PHONE NUMBER, AND FAX NUMBER].

I HAVE READ AND AGREE
TO THIS RELEASE:

 


 

 

Name:

 

 

 

 

Date:

 

 

 

 

A-3


 


QuickLinks

Exhibit 10.23

Change of Control Agreement March 7, 2011
EXHIBIT A
WAIVER AND GENERAL RELEASE AGREEMENT