WiLAN Names New Chairman - Terminates CEO's Revenue Share Agreement
Published on: 2nd Feb 2012
Note -- this news article is more than a year old.
Patents holding company WiLAN has announced that its joint Chairman CEO James Skippen is to relinquish the role of Chairman to Paul McCarten an independent director already on the company board.
Splitting the roles of Chairman and CEO is considered best practice in the UK and Canada, where Wi-LAN is based, although it is less common in the USA.
With Board approval, the Company has entered into a new five year employment agreement with Mr. Skippen to serve as President and CEO of WiLAN. This agreement sets Mr. Skippen's compensation for five years, which will generally consist of a base salary and other typical stock-based compensation.
The five year agreement also calls for the elimination of Mr. Skippen's contractual right to receive 2% of WiLAN's gross revenues for a portion of 2011 and all subsequent years, in exchange for a one-time payment of $7.25 million.
The Company's buyout of Mr. Skippen's contracted right to 2% of gross revenues and the terms of the new employment contract were based on advice given to the Compensation Committee by Towers Watson, and were unanimously approved by all independent directors. Mr. Skippen did not take part in the meetings at which the buyout and employment contract were considered and approved, but did accept the buyout offer as proposed by the independent directors.
"Since the Board recruited Jim five years ago to lead the rebuilding of WiLAN, he has delivered very impressive results," said Robert Bramson, Chairman of WiLAN's Compensation Committee. "In only five years, under Jim's leadership, WiLAN has increased annual licensing revenues from zero to a forecasted $105 million in 2011, signed license agreements that position the Company to generate many hundreds of millions of dollars in future revenues and secured a listing on the NASDAQ Global Select Market."