hmhc-8k_20200519.htm
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Co false 0001580156 0001580156 2020-05-19 2020-05-19

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20549

 

FORM 8-K

 

CURRENT REPORT

PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d)

OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934

Date of Report (Date of earliest event reported): May 19, 2020

 

HOUGHTON MIFFLIN HARCOURT COMPANY

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)

 

 

Delaware

001-36166

27-1566372

(State or other jurisdiction

of incorporation)

(Commission

File No.)

(IRS Employer

Identification No.)

 

 

 

125 High Street

Boston, MA

 

02110

(Address of principal executive offices)

 

(Zip Code)

 

(617) 351-5000

(Registrant’s telephone number, including area code)

NOT APPLICABLE

(Former name or former address, if changed since last report)

Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:

 

Title of each class

 

Trading

Symbol(s)

 

Name of each exchange on which registered

Common Stock, $0.01 par value

 

HMHC

 

The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC

 

Check the appropriate box below if the Form 8-K filing is intended to simultaneously satisfy the filing obligation of the registrant under any of the following provisions:

 

Written communications pursuant to Rule 425 under the Securities Act (17 CFR 230.425)

Soliciting material pursuant to Rule 14a-12 under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.14a-12)

Pre-commencement communications pursuant to Rule 14d-2(b) under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.14d-2(b))

Pre-commencement communications pursuant to Rule 13e-4(c) under the Exchange Act (17 CFR 240.13e-4(c))

 

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is an emerging growth company as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act of 1933 (§230.405 of this chapter) or Rule 12b-2 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (§240.12b-2 of this chapter).

Emerging growth company  

If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.  

 

 

 


 

Item 5.02.

Departure of Directors or Certain Officers; Election of Directors; Appointment of Certain Officers; Compensatory Arrangements of Certain Officers.

On May 19, 2020, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Company (the “Company”) held its 2020 Annual Meeting of Stockholders (the “Annual Meeting”).  At the Annual Meeting, the Company’s stockholders approved the Company’s Amended and Restated 2015 Omnibus Incentive Plan (the “2015 Plan”), which had previously been adopted by the Company’s Board of Directors (the “Board”) subject to stockholder approval.  

 

The description of the 2015 Plan contained on pages 68 to 77 of the Company’s Proxy Statement for the Annual Meeting https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1580156/000156459020013402/hmhc-def14a_20200519.htm, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) on March 27, 2020, and the additional information regarding the 2015 Plan contained in the Company’s supplement to the Proxy Statement for the Annual Meeting

https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1580156/000156459020019190/hmhc-defa14a_20200428.htm , filed with the SEC on April 28, 2020, are each incorporated herein by reference. A complete copy of the 2015 Plan is attached hereto as Exhibit 99.1 and is incorporated herein by reference.

 

Item 5.07.

Submission of Matters to a Vote of Security Holders.

At the Annual Meeting, the Company’ stockholders voted on the following proposals:

1. Each of the director nominees was elected to serve until the Company’s next annual meeting of stockholders and until their successors are elected and qualified, or until such director’s earlier death, resignation, retirement, disqualification or removal.

The votes for the election of directors are set forth below:

 

Nominee

  

For

  

Withhold

  

Broker Non-Votes

Daniel Allen

  

110,491,815

  

1,614,962

  

4,454,424

L. Gordon Crovitz

  

110,785,077

  

1,321,700

  

4,454,424

Jean S. Desravines

  

110,496,094

  

1,610,683

  

4,454,424

Lawrence K. Fish

  

96,919,263

  

15,187,514

  

4,454,424

Jill A. Greenthal

  

110,324,332

  

1,782,445

  

4,454,424

John F. Killian

  

110,193,384

  

1,913,393

  

4,454,424

John J. Lynch, Jr.

  

111,071,427

  

1,035,350

  

4,454,424

John R. McKernan, Jr.

  

109,845,184

  

2,261,593

  

4,454,424

Tracey D. Weber

  

110,494,910

  

1,611,867

  

4,454,424

2. The compensation of the Company’s named executive officers was approved, on a non-binding, advisory basis, by the votes set forth below:  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For

  

Against

  

Abstain

  

Broker Non-Votes

103,231,221

  

8,848,893

  

26,663

  

4,454,424

3. The recommended frequency of non-binding, advisory votes regarding the compensation of the Compensation’s named executive officers was every year, by the votes set forth below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every Year

  

Every Two Years

  

Every Three Years

  

Abstain

 

Broker Non-Votes

105,410,151

  

217,111

  

6,474,510

  

5,005

 

4,454,424

After taking into consideration the foregoing voting results and the Board’s prior recommendation in favor of an annual advisory vote on the compensation of the Company’s named executive officers, the Board intends to hold future advisory votes on the compensation of the Company’s named executive officers every year.

4. The adoption of the Company’s Amended and Restated 2015 Omnibus Incentive Plan was approved, by the votes set forth below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For

  

Against

  

Abstain

  

Broker Non-Votes

107,558,999

  

4,511,133

  

36,645

  

4,454,424

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5. The appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm for the fiscal year ending December 31, 2020, was ratified, by the votes set forth below:

 

 

 

 

 

 

For

  

Against

  

Abstain

  

116,235,341

  

318,515

  

7,345

  

Item 9.01 Financial Statements and Exhibits

 

(d)

Exhibits

 

Exhibit No.

 

Description

 

 

99.1

 

Amended and Restated 2015 Omnibus Incentive Plan

104

 

Cover Page Interactive Data File (embedded within the Inline XBRL document)

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 SIGNATURES

Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned hereunto duly authorized.

 

 

HOUGHTON MIFFLIN HARCOURT COMPANY

 

 

 

Dated: May 22, 2020

By:

 

/s/ William F. Bayers

 

Name:

 

William F. Bayers

 

Title:

 

Executive Vice President, Secretary and  

General Counsel

 

 

4

hmhc-ex991_6.htm

 

Exhibit 99.1

 

 

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Company Amended and Restated 2015 Omnibus Incentive Plan

1. Purpose. The Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Company Amended and Restated 2015 Omnibus Incentive Plan (the “Plan”) is intended to help Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Company, a Delaware corporation (including any successor thereto, the “Company”) and its Affiliates (i) attract and retain key personnel by providing them the opportunity to acquire an equity interest in the Company or other incentive compensation measured by reference to the value of Common Stock or other performance objectives and (ii) align the interests of key personnel with those of the Company’s shareholders.

2. Effective Date; Duration. The Plan amends and restates the 2015 Omnibus Incentive Plan, as amended, that was originally adopted by the Board (as defined below) on February 24, 2015 and approved by shareholders on May 19, 2015 and shall be effective as of the date the Plan is approved by the Company’s shareholders (the “Effective Date”). The expiration date of the Plan, on and after which date no Awards may be granted, shall be the tenth anniversary of the Effective Date; provided, however, that such expiration shall not affect Awards then outstanding, and the terms and conditions of the Plan shall continue to apply to such Awards.

3. Definitions. The following definitions shall apply throughout the Plan.

(a) “Affiliate” means (i) any person or entity that directly or indirectly controls, is controlled by or is under common control with the Company and/or (ii) to the extent provided by the Committee, any person or entity in which the Company has a significant interest. The term “control” (including, with correlative meaning, the terms “ controlled by” and “under common control with”), as applied to any person or entity, means the possession, directly or indirectly, of the power to direct or cause the direction of the management and policies of such person or entity, whether through the ownership of voting or other securities, by contract or otherwise.

(b) “Award” means, individually or collectively, any Incentive Stock Option, Nonqualified Stock Option, Stock Appreciation Right, Restricted Stock, Restricted Stock Unit, Other Stock-Based Award and Performance Compensation Award granted under the Plan.

(c) “Beneficial Ownership” has the meaning set forth in Rule 13d-3 promulgated under Section 13 of the Exchange Act.

(d) “Board” means the Board of Directors of the Company.

(e) “Cause” means, in the case of a particular Award, unless the applicable Award agreement states otherwise, the Company or an Affiliate having “cause” to terminate the Participant’s employment or service, (i) as such term is defined in any employment, consulting, change-in-control, severance or any other agreement between the Participant and the Company or an Affiliate in effect at the time of such termination or (ii) in the absence of any such employment, consulting, change-in-control, severance or any other agreement (or the absence of any definition of “cause” or term of similar import therein), due to the Participant’s (A) willful misconduct or gross neglect of the Participant’s duties; (B) having engaged in conduct harmful (whether financially, reputationally or otherwise) to the Company or an Affiliate; (C) failure or refusal to perform the Participant’s duties; (D) conviction of, or guilty or no contest plea to, a felony or any crime involving dishonesty or moral turpitude; (E) willful violation of the written policies of the Company or an Affiliate; (F) misappropriation or misuse of Company or Affiliate funds or property or other act of personal dishonesty in connection with the Participant’s employment; or (G) willful breach of fiduciary duty. The determination of whether Cause exists shall be made by the Committee in its sole discretion.

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(f) “Change in Control” shall, in the case of a particular Award, unless the applicable Award agreement (or any employment, consulting, change-in-control, severance or other agreement between the Participant and the Company or an Affiliate) states otherwise, be deemed to occur upon any of the following events:

 

(i) the acquisition by any Person of Beneficial Ownership of 30% or more (on a fully diluted basis) of either (A) the then outstanding shares of Common Stock, including Common Stock issuable upon the exercise of options or warrants, the conversion of convertible stock or debt, and the exercise of any similar right to acquire such Common Stock (the “Outstanding Company Common Stock”); or (B) the combined voting power of the then outstanding voting securities of the Company entitled to vote in the election of directors (the “Outstanding Company Voting Securities”); but excluding any acquisition by the Company or any of its Affiliates or by any employee benefit plan sponsored or maintained by the Company or any of its Affiliates, or by any Permitted Holder;

(ii) a change in the composition of the Board such that members of the Board during any consecutive 12-month period (the “Incumbent Directors”) cease to constitute a majority of the Board. Any person becoming a director through election or nomination for election approved by a valid vote of at least two-thirds of the Incumbent Directors shall be deemed an Incumbent Director; provided, however, that no individual becoming a director as a result of an actual or threatened election contest, as such terms are used in Rule 14a-12 of Regulation 14A promulgated under the Exchange Act, or as a result of any other actual or threatened solicitation of proxies or consents by or on behalf of any person other than the Board shall be deemed to be an Incumbent Director;

(iii) the approval by the shareholders of the Company of a plan of complete dissolution or liquidation of the Company; or

(iv) the consummation of a reorganization, recapitalization, merger, consolidation, statutory share exchange or similar form of corporate transaction involving the Company (a “Business Combination”), or sale, transfer or other disposition of all or substantially all of the business or assets of the Company to an entity (other than a Permitted Holder) that is not an Affiliate of the Company (a “Sale”), unless immediately following such Business Combination or Sale: (A) more than 50% of the total voting power of the entity resulting from such Business Combination or the entity that acquired all or substantially all of the business or assets of the Company in such Sale (in either case, the “Surviving Company”), or the ultimate parent entity that has Beneficial Ownership of sufficient voting power to elect a majority of the board of directors (or analogous governing body) of the Surviving Company (the “Parent Company”), is represented by the Outstanding Company Voting Securities that were outstanding immediately prior to such Business Combination or Sale (or, if applicable, is represented by shares into which the Outstanding Company Voting Securities were converted pursuant to such Business Combination or Sale), and such voting power among the holders thereof is in substantially the same proportion as the voting power of the Outstanding Company Voting Securities among the holders thereof immediately prior to the Business Combination or Sale, (B) no Person (other than any employee benefit plan sponsored or maintained by the Surviving Company or the Parent Company, and other than a Permitted Holder), is or becomes the beneficial owner, directly or indirectly, of 30% or more of the total voting power of the outstanding voting securities eligible to elect members of the board of directors (or the analogous governing body) of the Parent Company (or, if there is no Parent Company, the Surviving Company) and (C) at least a majority of the members of the board of directors (or the analogous governing body) of the Parent Company (or, if there is no Parent Company, the Surviving Company) following the consummation of the Business Combination or Sale were Board members at the time of the Board’s approval of the execution of the initial agreement providing for such Business Combination or Sale.

 

(g) “Code” means the U.S. Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, and any successor thereto. References to any section of the Code shall be deemed to include any regulations or other interpretative guidance under such section, and any amendments or successors thereto.

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(h) “Committee” means the Compensation Committee of the Board or subcommittee thereof if required with respect to actions taken to obtain the exception for performance-based compensation under Section 162(m) of the Code or to comply with Rule 16b-3 promulgated under the Exchange Act in respect of Awards or, if no such Compensation Committee or subcommittee thereof exists, the Board.

(i) “Common Stock” means the common stock of the Company, par value $0.01 per share (and any stock or other securities into which such common shares may be converted or into which it may be exchanged).

(j) “Disability” means cause for termination of the Participant’s employment or service due to a determination that the Participant is disabled in accordance with a long-term disability insurance program maintained by the Company or a determination by the U.S. Social Security Administration that the Participant is totally disabled.

(k) “Eligible Director” means a person who is (i) a “non-employee director” within the meaning of Rule 16b-3 under the Exchange Act, (ii) solely to the extent necessary for purposes of administering Awards that may qualify as “performance-based compensation” under Section 162(m) of the Code, an “outside director” within the meaning of Section 162(m) of the Code and/or (iii) an “independent director” under the rules of Nasdaq or any other securities exchange or inter-dealer quotation system on which the Common Stock is listed or quoted, or a person meeting any similar requirement under any successor rule or regulation.

(l) “Eligible Person” means any (i) individual employed by the Company or an Affiliate; provided, however, that no such employee covered by a collective bargaining agreement shall be an Eligible Person; (ii) director or officer of the Company or an Affiliate; or (iii) consultant or advisor to the Company or an Affiliate who may be offered securities registrable on Form S-8 under the Securities Act.

(m) “Exchange Act” means the U.S. Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and any successor thereto. References to any section of (or rule promulgated under) the Exchange Act shall be deemed to include any rules, regulations or other interpretative guidance under such section or rule, and any amendments or successors thereto.

(n) “Fair Market Value” means, on a given date, (i) if the Common Stock is listed on a national securities exchange, the closing sales price of the Common Stock reported on such exchange on such date, or, if there is no such sale on that date, then on the last preceding date on which such a sale was reported; or (ii) if the Common Stock is not listed on any national securities exchange, the amount determined by the Committee in good faith to be the fair market value of the Common Stock.

(o) “Incentive Stock Option” means an Option which is designated by the Committee as an incentive stock option as described in Section 422 of the Code and otherwise meets the requirements set forth in the Plan.

 

(p) “Nasdaq” means The Nasdaq Global Market.

(q) “Nonqualified Stock Option” means an Option which is not designated by the Committee as an Incentive Stock Option.

(r) “Option” means an Award granted under Section 7 of the Plan.

(s) “Performance Compensation Award” means an Award designated by the Committee as a Performance Compensation Award pursuant to Section 11 of the Plan.

(t) “Performance Criteria” shall mean the criterion or criteria that the Committee shall select for purposes of establishing the Performance Goal(s) for a Performance Period with respect to any Performance Compensation Award under the Plan.

(u) “Performance Formula” shall mean, for a Performance Period, the one or more objective formulae applied against the relevant Performance Goal to determine, with regard to the Performance Compensation Award of a particular Participant, whether all, some portion but less than all, or none of the Performance Compensation Award has been earned for the Performance Period.

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(v) “Performance Goals” shall mean, for a Performance Period, the one or more goals established by the Committee for the Performance Period based upon the Performance Criteria.

(w) “Performance Period” shall mean the one or more periods of time as the Committee may select, over which the attainment of one or more Performance Goals will be measured for the purpose of determining the Participant’s right to, and the payment of, a Performance Compensation Award.

(x) “Permitted Holder” shall mean the informal group of unaffiliated holders of First Lien Bank Claims and 10.5% Notes Claims that have executed the Restructuring Support Agreement, dated as of May 10, 2012, by and among the parties thereto (as amended from time to time) (but excluding any such holder that as of June 22, 2012, was not the beneficial owner, directly or indirectly, of 5% or more of the outstanding shares of Common Stock or voting power of the Company), and their Affiliates, advisors, nominees or investment managers.

(y) “Person” has the meaning given in Section 3(a)(9) of the Exchange Act, as modified and used in Sections 13(d) and 14(d) thereof, except that such term shall not include (i) the Company or any of its subsidiaries, (ii) a trustee or other fiduciary holding securities under an employee benefit plan of the Company or any of its Affiliates, (iii) an underwriter temporarily holding securities pursuant to an offering of such securities or (iv) a corporation owned, directly or indirectly, by the shareholders of the Company in substantially the same proportions as their ownership of Common Stock of the Company.

(z) “Prior Plan” means the HMH Holdings (Delaware), Inc. 2012 Management Incentive Plan.

(aa) “Restricted Stock” means an Award of Common Stock, subject to certain specified restrictions, granted under Section 9 of the Plan.

(bb) “Restricted Stock Unit” means an Award of an unfunded and unsecured promise to deliver shares of Common Stock, cash, other securities or other property, subject to certain specified restrictions, granted under Section 9 of the Plan.

 

(cc) “Securities Act” means the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and any successor thereto. Reference in the Plan to any section of (or rule promulgated under) the Securities Act shall be deemed to include any rules, regulations or other interpretative guidance under such section or rule, and any amendments or successor provisions to such section, rules, regulations or guidance.

(dd) “Stock Appreciation Right” or “SAR” means an Award granted under Section 8 of the Plan.

4. Administration.

(a) The Committee shall administer the Plan, and shall have the sole and plenary authority to: (i) designate Participants; (ii) determine the type, size, and terms and conditions of Awards to be granted; (iii) determine the method by which an Award may be settled, exercised, canceled, forfeited, or suspended; (iv) determine the circumstances under which the delivery of cash, property or other amounts payable with respect to an Award may be deferred either automatically or at the Participant’s or Committee’s election; (v) interpret and administer, reconcile any inconsistency in, correct any defect in and/or supply any omission in the Plan and any Award granted under, the Plan; (vi) establish, amend, suspend or waive any rules and regulations and appoint such agents as the Committee shall deem appropriate for the proper administration of the Plan; (vii) subject to Section 15(b) hereof, accelerate the vesting, delivery or exercisability of, payment for or lapse of restrictions on, or waive any condition in respect of, Awards; and (viii) make any other determination and take any other action that the Committee deems necessary or desirable for the administration of the Plan or to comply with any applicable law, including Section 162(m) of the Code. To the extent required to comply with the provisions of Rule 16b-3 promulgated under the Exchange Act (if applicable and if the Board is not acting as the Committee under the Plan) or necessary to obtain the exception for performance-based compensation under Section 162(m) of the Code, or any exception or exemption under the rules of Nasdaq or any other securities exchange or inter-dealer quotation service on which the Common Stock is listed or quoted, as applicable, it is intended that each member of the Committee shall, at the time the Participant takes any action with respect to an Award under the Plan, be an Eligible Director. However, the fact that a Committee member shall fail to qualify as an Eligible Director shall not invalidate any Award granted or action taken by the Committee that is otherwise validly granted or taken under the Plan.

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(b) The Committee may allocate all or any portion of its responsibilities and powers to any one or more of its members and may delegate all or any part of its responsibilities and powers to any person(s) selected by it, except for grants of Awards to persons who are non-employee members of the Board or otherwise are subject to Section 16 of the Exchange Act. Any such allocation or delegation may be revoked by the Committee at any time.

(c) As further set forth in Section 15(f) of the Plan, the Committee shall have the authority to amend the Plan and Awards to the extent necessary to permit participation in the Plan by Eligible Persons who are located outside of the United States on terms and conditions comparable to those afforded to Eligible Persons located within the United States; provided, however, that no such action shall be taken without shareholder approval if such approval is required by applicable law or regulation.

(d) Unless otherwise expressly provided in the Plan, all designations, determinations, interpretations, and other decisions regarding the Plan or any Award or any documents evidencing Awards granted pursuant to the Plan shall be within the sole discretion of the Committee, may be made at any time and shall be final, conclusive and binding upon all persons or entities, including, without limitation, the Company, any Affiliate, any Participant, any holder or beneficiary of any Award, and any shareholder of the Company.

 

(e) No member of the Board, the Committee or any employee or agent of the Company (each such person, an “Indemnifiable Person”) shall be liable for any action taken or omitted to be taken or any determination made with respect to the Plan or any Award hereunder (unless constituting fraud or a willful criminal act or omission). Each Indemnifiable Person shall be indemnified and held harmless by the Company against and from any loss, cost, liability or expense (including attorneys’ fees) that may be imposed upon or incurred by such Indemnifiable Person in connection with or resulting from any action, suit or proceeding to which such Indemnifiable Person may be involved as a party, witness or otherwise by reason of any action taken or omitted to be taken or determination made under the Plan or any Award agreement and against and from any and all amounts paid by such Indemnifiable Person with the Company’s approval (not to be unreasonably withheld), in settlement thereof, or paid by such Indemnifiable Person in satisfaction of any judgment in any such action, suit or proceeding against such Indemnifiable Person, and the Company shall advance to such Indemnifiable Person any such expenses promptly upon written request (which request shall include an undertaking by the Indemnifiable Person to repay the amount of such advance if it shall ultimately be determined as provided below that the Indemnifiable Person is not entitled to be indemnified); provided, that the Company shall have the right, at its own expense, to assume and defend any such action, suit or proceeding and once the Company gives notice of its intent to assume the defense, the Company shall have sole control over such defense with counsel of recognized standing of the Company’s choice. The foregoing right of indemnification shall not be available to an Indemnifiable Person to the extent that a final judgment or other final adjudication (in either case not subject to further appeal) binding upon such Indemnifiable Person determines that the acts or omissions or determinations of such Indemnifiable Person giving rise to the indemnification claim resulted from such Indemnifiable Person’s fraud or willful criminal act or omission or that such right of indemnification is otherwise prohibited by law or by the Company’s Certificate of Incorporation or By-laws. The foregoing right of indemnification shall not be exclusive of or otherwise supersede any other rights of indemnification to which such Indemnifiable Persons may be entitled under the Company’s Certificate of Incorporation or By-laws, as a matter of law, individual indemnification agreement or contract or otherwise, or any other power that the Company may have to indemnify such Indemnifiable Persons or hold them harmless.

(f) The Board may at any time and from time to time, grant Awards and administer the Plan with respect to such Awards. In any such case, the Board shall have all the authority granted to the Committee under the Plan.

5. Grant of Awards; Shares Subject to the Plan; Limitations.

(a) The Committee may grant Options, Stock Appreciation Rights, Restricted Stock, Restricted Stock Units, Other Stock-Based Awards and/or Performance Compensation Awards to one or more Eligible Persons.

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(b) Subject to Section 12 of the Plan and subsections (c) and (d) below, the following limitations apply to the grant of Awards: (i) no more than (x) 15,918,372 shares of Common Stock plus (y) any shares of Common Stock that as of the Effective Date are subject to outstanding awards under the Prior Plan that become available after the Effective Date for issuance pursuant to Section 5(c) below, may be delivered in the aggregate pursuant to Awards granted under the Plan; (ii) no more than 1 million shares of Common Stock may be subject to grants of Options or SARs under the Plan to any single Participant during any single fiscal year; (iii) no more than 7,630,000 shares of Common Stock may be delivered pursuant to the exercise of Incentive Stock Options granted under the Plan; (iv) no more than 1 million shares of Common Stock may be delivered in respect of Performance Compensation Awards denominated in shares of Common Stock granted pursuant to Section 11 of the Plan to any Participant for a single Performance Period (or with respect to each single fiscal year in the event a Performance Period extends beyond a single fiscal year), or in the event such Performance Compensation Award is paid in cash, other securities, other Awards or other property, no more than the Fair Market Value of 1 million shares of Common Stock on the last day of the Performance Period to which such Award relates; (v) the maximum amount that can be paid to any individual Participant for a single fiscal year during a Performance Period (or with respect to each single fiscal year in the event a Performance Period extends beyond a single fiscal year) pursuant to a Performance Compensation Award denominated in cash described in Section 11(a) of the Plan shall be $10 million; and (vi) the maximum amount (based on the fair value of shares of Common Stock on the date of grant as determined in accordance with applicable financial accounting rules) of Awards that may be granted in any single fiscal year to any non-employee director shall be $500,000, exclusive of voluntary deferrals by such director of his or her director fees and committee retainers.

(c) Shares of Common Stock shall be deemed to have been used in settlement of Awards whether or not they are actually delivered; provided, that if the Fair Market Value equivalent of such shares is paid in cash, such shares shall again become available for other Awards. In the case of the exercise of a Stock Appreciation Right, the number of shares counted against the shares available under the Plan and against the sublimits referenced in Section 5(b) shall be the full number of shares subject to the Stock Appreciation Right multiplied by the percentage of the Stock Appreciation Right actually exercised, regardless of the number of shares actually used to settle such Stock Appreciation Right upon exercise. If and to the extent all or any portion of an Award expires, terminates or is canceled or forfeited for any reason without the Participant having received any benefit therefrom, the shares covered by such Award or portion thereof shall again become available for other Awards; provided however that in the case of Incentive Stock Options, the foregoing shall be subject to any limitations under the Code. For purposes of the foregoing sentence, the Participant shall not be deemed to have received any “benefit” (i) in the case of forfeited Restricted Stock by reason of having enjoyed voting rights and dividend rights prior to the date of forfeiture or (ii) in the case of an Award canceled by reason of a new Award being granted in substitution therefor. Shares delivered (either by actual physical delivery, attestation or net exercise) to the Company by the Participant to pay the Exercise Price of an Option or satisfy tax withholding obligations of an Award (including shares retained from the Award creating the tax obligation) shall not again become available for other Awards. Shares of Common Stock repurchased by the Company on the open market using the proceeds from the exercise of an Award shall not increase the number of shares available for future grant of Awards.  The foregoing provisions of this Section 5(c) shall apply to both (x) Awards granted under the Plan (including Substitute Awards) and (y) awards under the Prior Plan that are outstanding on the Effective Date.

(d) The Committee may grant Awards in assumption of, or in substitution for, outstanding awards previously granted by the Company or any Affiliate or an entity directly or indirectly acquired by the Company or with which the Company combines (“Substitute Awards”), and such Substitute Awards shall not be counted against the aggregate number of shares of Common Stock available for Awards; provided, that Substitute Awards issued or intended as Incentive Stock Options shall be counted against the aggregate number of Incentive Stock Options available under the Plan.

(e) Shares of Common Stock delivered by the Company in settlement of Awards may be authorized and unissued shares, shares held in the treasury of the Company, shares purchased on the open market or by private purchase or a combination of the foregoing.

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6. Eligibility. Participation shall be limited to Eligible Persons who have been selected by the Committee and who have entered into an Award agreement with respect to an Award granted to them under the Plan (each such Eligible Person, a “Participant”).

7. Options.

(a) Generally. Each Option shall be subject to the conditions set forth in the Plan and in the Award agreement. All Options granted under the Plan shall be Nonqualified Stock Options unless the Award agreement expressly states otherwise. Incentive Stock Options shall be granted only subject to and in compliance with Section 422 of the Code, and only to Eligible Persons who are employees of the Company and its Affiliates and who are eligible to receive an Incentive Stock Option under the Code. If for any reason an Option intended to be an Incentive Stock Option (or any portion thereof) shall not qualify as an Incentive Stock Option, then, to the extent of such nonqualification, such Option or portion thereof shall be regarded as a Nonqualified Stock Option appropriately granted under the Plan.

(b) Exercise Price. The exercise price (“Exercise Price”) per share of Common Stock for each Option shall not be less than 100% of the Fair Market Value of such share, determined as of the date of grant. Any modification to the Exercise Price of an outstanding Option shall be subject to the prohibition on repricing set forth in Section 14(b).

(c) Vesting, Exercise and Expiration. Subject to Section 15(b), the Committee shall determine the manner and timing of vesting, exercise and expiration of Options. The period between date of grant and the scheduled expiration date of the Option (“Option Period”) shall not exceed ten years, unless the Option Period (other than in the case of an Incentive Stock Option) would expire at a time when trading in the shares of Common Stock is prohibited by the Company’s securities trading policy or a Company-imposed “blackout period”, in which case the Option Period shall be automatically extended until the 30th day following the expiration of such prohibition (so long as such extension shall not violate Section 409A of the Code). Subject to Section 15(b), the Committee may accelerate the vesting and/or exercisability of any Option, which acceleration shall not affect any other terms and conditions of such Option.

(d) Method of Exercise and Form of Payment. No shares of Common Stock shall be delivered pursuant to any exercise of an Option until the Participant has made payment in full to the Company of the Exercise Price and an amount equal to any U.S. Federal, state and local income and employment taxes and non-U.S. income and employment taxes, social contributions and any other tax-related items required to be withheld. Options may be exercised by delivery of written or electronic notice of exercise to the Company or its designee (including a third party administrator) in accordance with the terms of the Option accompanied by payment of the Exercise Price. The Exercise Price and all applicable required withholding taxes shall be payable (i) in cash, check, cash equivalent and/or shares of Common Stock (or any combination of the foregoing) valued at the Fair Market Value at the time the Option is exercised (including, pursuant to procedures approved by the Committee, by means of attestation of ownership of a sufficient number of shares of Common Stock in lieu of actual delivery of such shares to the Company); provided, that such shares of Common Stock are not subject to any pledge or other security interest; or (ii) by such other method as the Committee may permit, in its sole discretion, including without limitation: (A) in other property having a Fair Market Value on the date of exercise equal to the Exercise Price and all applicable required withholding taxes; (B) if there is a public market for the shares of Common Stock at such time, by means of a broker-assisted “cashless exercise” pursuant to which the Company is delivered a copy of irrevocable instructions to a stockbroker to sell the shares of Common Stock otherwise deliverable upon the exercise of the Option and to deliver promptly to the Company an amount equal to the Exercise Price and all applicable required withholding taxes; or (C) by means of a “net exercise” procedure effected by withholding the minimum number of shares of Common Stock otherwise deliverable in respect of an Option that are needed to pay for the Exercise Price and all applicable required withholding taxes. The Committee may provide in an Award agreement that, if on the last day of the Option Period, the Fair Market Value exceeds the Exercise Price, the Participant has not exercised the Option, and the Option has not expired, such Option shall be deemed to have been exercised by the Participant on such last day by means of a “net exercise” procedure described above. Any fractional shares of Common Stock shall be settled in cash.

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(e) Notification upon Disqualifying Disposition of an Incentive Stock Option. Each Participant awarded an Incentive Stock Option under the Plan shall notify the Company in writing immediately after the date the Participant makes a disqualifying disposition of any Common Stock acquired pursuant to the exercise of such Incentive Stock Option. A disqualifying disposition is any disposition (including, without limitation, any sale) of such Common Stock before the later of (i) two years after the date of grant of the Incentive Stock Option and (ii) one year after the date of exercise of the Incentive Stock Option. The Company may, if determined by the Committee and in accordance with procedures established by the Committee, retain possession, as agent for the applicable Participant, of any Common Stock acquired pursuant to the exercise of an Incentive Stock Option until the end of the period described in the preceding sentence, subject to complying with any instruction from such Participant as to the sale of such Common Stock.

(f) Compliance with Laws, etc. Notwithstanding the foregoing, in no event shall the Participant be permitted to exercise an Option in a manner which the Committee determines would violate the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, or any other applicable law or the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission or the applicable rules and regulations of any securities exchange or inter-dealer quotation service on which the Common Stock of the Company is listed or quoted.

(g) Incentive Stock Option Grants to 10% Shareholders. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Section 7, if an Incentive Stock Option is granted to a Participant who owns stock representing more than ten percent of the voting power of all classes of stock of the Company or of a subsidiary or a parent of the Company, the Option Period shall not exceed five years from the date of grant of such Option and the Option Price shall be at least 110% of the Fair Market Value (on the date of grant) of the shares subject to the Option.

(h) $100,000 Per Year Limitation for Incentive Stock Options. To the extent the aggregate Fair Market Value (determined as of the date of grant) of shares of Common Stock for which Incentive Stock Options are exercisable for the first time by any Participant during any calendar year (under all plans of the Company) exceeds $100,000, such excess Incentive Stock Options shall be treated as Nonqualified Stock Options.

(i) No Reload.  No Option granted under the Plan shall contain any provision entitling the Participant to the automatic grant of additional Options in connection with any exercise of the original Option.

8. Stock Appreciation Rights (SARs).

(a) Generally. Each SAR shall be subject to the conditions set forth in the Plan and the Award agreement. Any Option granted under the Plan may include a tandem SAR. The Committee also may award SARs independent of any Option.

(b) Strike Price. The strike price (“Strike Price”) per share of Common Stock for each SAR shall not be less than 100% of the Fair Market Value of such share (determined as of the date of grant); provided, however, that a SAR granted in tandem with (or in substitution for) an Option previously granted shall have a Strike Price equal to the Exercise Price of the corresponding Option. Any modification to the Strike Price of an outstanding SAR shall be subject to the prohibition on repricing set forth in Section 14(b).

(c) Vesting and Expiration. A SAR granted in tandem with an Option shall become exercisable and shall expire according to the same vesting schedule and expiration provisions as the corresponding Option. Subject to Section 15(b), a SAR granted independently of an Option shall vest and become exercisable and shall expire in such manner and on such date or dates determined by the Committee and shall expire after such period, not to exceed ten years, as may be determined by the Committee (the “SAR Period”); provided, however, that notwithstanding any vesting or exercisability dates set by the Committee, the Committee may, subject to Section 15(b), accelerate the vesting and/or exercisability of any SAR, which acceleration shall not affect the terms and conditions of such SAR other than with respect to vesting and/or exercisability. If the SAR Period would expire at a time when trading in the shares of Common Stock is prohibited by the Company’s securities trading policy or a Company-imposed “blackout period”, the SAR Period shall be automatically extended until the 30th day following the expiration of such prohibition (so long as such extension shall not violate Section 409A of the Code).

 

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(d) Method of Exercise. SARs may be exercised by delivery of written or electronic notice of exercise to the Company or its designee (including a third party administrator) in accordance with the terms of the Award, specifying the number of SARs to be exercised and the date on which such SARs were awarded. The Committee may provide in an Award agreement that, if on the last day of the Option Period (or in the case of a SAR independent of an Option, the SAR Period), the Fair Market Value exceeds the Strike Price, the Participant has not exercised the SAR or the corresponding Option (if applicable), and neither the SAR nor the corresponding Option (if applicable) has expired, such SAR shall be deemed to have been exercised by the Participant on such last day and the Company shall make the appropriate payment therefor.

(e) Payment. Upon the exercise of a SAR, the Company shall pay to the holder thereof an amount equal to the number of shares subject to the SAR that are being exercised multiplied by the excess, if any, of the Fair Market Value of one share of Common Stock on the exercise date over the Strike Price, less an amount equal to any U.S. federal, state and local income and employment taxes and non-U.S. income and employment taxes, social contributions and any other tax-related items required to be withheld. The Company shall pay such amount in cash, in shares of Common Stock valued at Fair Market Value, or any combination thereof, as determined by the Committee. Any fractional shares of Common Stock shall be settled in cash.

(f) No Reload.  No SAR granted under the Plan shall contain any provision entitling the Participant to the automatic grant of additional SARs in connection with any exercise of the original SAR.

9. Restricted Stock and Restricted Stock Units.

(a) Generally. Each Restricted Stock and Restricted Stock Unit grant shall be subject to the conditions set forth in the Plan and the Award agreement. Subject to Section 15(b), the Committee shall establish restrictions applicable to such Restricted Stock and Restricted Stock Units, including the period over which the restrictions shall apply (the “Restricted Period”), and the time or times at which Restricted Stock or Restricted Stock Units shall become vested. Subject to Section 15(b), the Committee may accelerate the vesting and/or the lapse of any or all of the restrictions on the Restricted Stock and Restricted Stock Units, which acceleration shall not affect any other terms and conditions of such Awards. No shares shall be issued at the time an Award of Restricted Stock Units is made, and the Company will not be required to set aside a fund for the payment of any such Award.

(b) Stock Certificates; Escrow or Similar Arrangement. Upon the grant of Restricted Stock, the Committee shall cause share(s) of Common Stock to be registered in the name of the Participant and held in book-entry form subject to the Company’s directions. The Committee also may cause a stock certificate registered in the name of the Participant to be issued. In such event, the Committee may provide that such certificates shall be held by the Company or in escrow rather than delivered to the Participant pending vesting and release of restrictions, in which case the Committee may require the Participant to execute and deliver to the Company (i) an escrow agreement satisfactory to the Committee, if applicable, and (ii) the appropriate stock power (endorsed in blank) with respect to the Restricted Stock. If the Participant shall fail to execute and deliver the escrow agreement and blank stock power within the amount of time specified by the Committee, the Award shall be null and void. Subject to the restrictions set forth in this Section 9 and the Award agreement, the Participant shall have the rights and privileges of a shareholder as to such Restricted Stock, including without limitation the right to vote such Restricted Stock.

(c) Restrictions; Forfeiture. Restricted Stock and Restricted Stock Units awarded to the Participant shall be subject to forfeiture until the expiration of the Restricted Period and the attainment of any other vesting criteria established by the Committee, and shall be subject to the restrictions on transferability set forth in the Award agreement. In the event of any forfeiture, all rights of the Participant to such Restricted Stock (or as a shareholder with respect thereto), and/or to such Restricted Stock Units, as applicable, including to any dividends and/or dividend equivalents that may have been accumulated and withheld during the Restricted Period in respect thereof, shall terminate without further action or obligation on the part of the Company. The Committee shall have the authority to remove any or all of the restrictions on the Restricted Stock and Restricted Stock Units whenever it may determine that, by reason of changes in applicable laws or other changes in circumstances arising after the date of grant of the Restricted Stock

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Award or Restricted Stock Unit Award, such action is appropriate, provided that where removal of restrictions is appropriate by reason of changes in circumstances unrelated to changes in applicable laws, any such removal shall be subject to Section 15(b).

(d) Delivery of Restricted Stock and Settlement of Restricted Stock Units.

(i) Upon the expiration of the Restricted Period with respect to any shares of Restricted Stock and the attainment of any other vesting criteria, the restrictions set forth in the applicable Award agreement shall be of no further force or effect, except as set forth in the Award agreement. If an escrow arrangement is used, upon such expiration the Company shall deliver to the Participant or the Participant’s beneficiary (via book entry notation or, if applicable, in stock certificate form) the shares of Restricted Stock with respect to which the Restricted Period has expired (rounded down to the nearest full share). Dividends, if any, that may have been withheld by the Committee and attributable to the Restricted Stock shall be distributed to the Participant in cash or in shares of Common Stock having a Fair Market Value (on the date of distribution) equal to the amount of such dividends, upon the release of restrictions on such share.

(ii) Unless otherwise provided by the Committee in an Award agreement, upon the expiration of the Restricted Period and the attainment of any other vesting criteria established by the Committee, with respect to any outstanding Restricted Stock Units, the Company shall deliver to the Participant, or the Participant’s beneficiary (via book entry notation or, if applicable, in stock certificate form), one share of Common Stock (or other securities or other property, as applicable) for each such outstanding Restricted Stock Unit which has not then been forfeited and with respect to which the Restricted Period has expired and any other such vesting criteria are attained (“Released Unit”); provided, however, that the Committee may elect to (A) pay cash or part cash and part Common Stock in lieu of delivering only shares of Common Stock in respect of such Released Units or (B) defer the delivery of Common Stock (or cash or part Common Stock and part cash, as the case may be) beyond the expiration of the Restricted Period if such extension would not cause adverse tax consequences under Section 409A of the Code. If a cash payment is made in lieu of delivering shares of Common Stock, the amount of such payment shall be equal to the Fair Market Value of the Common Stock as of the date on which the Restricted Period lapsed with respect to such Restricted Stock Units. To the extent provided in an Award agreement, the holder of outstanding Restricted Stock Units shall be entitled to be credited with dividend equivalent payments (upon the payment by the Company of dividends on shares of Common Stock) either in cash or, if determined by the Committee, in shares of Common Stock having a Fair Market Value equal to the amount of such dividends (and interest may, if determined by the Committee, be credited on the amount of cash dividend equivalents at a rate and subject to such terms as determined by the Committee), which accumulated dividend equivalents (and interest thereon, if applicable) shall be payable at the same time as the underlying Restricted Stock Units are settled following the release of restrictions on such Restricted Stock Units, and, if such Restricted Stock Units are forfeited, the holder thereof shall have no right to such dividend equivalent payments.

(e) Legends on Restricted Stock. Each certificate representing Restricted Stock awarded under the Plan, if any, shall bear a legend substantially in the form of the following in addition to any other information the Company deems appropriate until the lapse of all restrictions with respect to such Common Stock:

 

TRANSFER OF THIS CERTIFICATE AND THE SHARES REPRESENTED HEREBY IS RESTRICTED PURSUANT TO THE TERMS OF THE AMENDED AND RESTATED HOUGHTON MIFFLIN HARCOURT COMPANY 2015 OMNIBUS INCENTIVE PLAN AND A RESTRICTED STOCK AWARD AGREEMENT, DATED AS OF                     , BETWEEN HOUGHTON MIFFLIN HARCOURT COMPANY AND                     . A COPY OF SUCH PLAN AND AWARD AGREEMENT IS ON FILE AT THE PRINCIPAL EXECUTIVE OFFICES OF HOUGHTON MIFFLIN HARCOURT COMPANY.

10. Other Stock-Based Awards. Subject to the terms of the Plan, the Committee may issue unrestricted Common Stock, rights to receive future grants of Awards, or other Awards denominated in Common Stock (including performance shares or performance units), or Awards that provide for cash payments based in whole or in part on the value or future value of shares of Common Stock under the Plan to

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Eligible Persons, alone or in tandem with other Awards, in such amounts as the Committee shall from time to time determine (“Other Stock-Based Awards”). Each Other Stock-Based Award shall be evidenced by an Award agreement which may include conditions including without limitation the payment by the Participant of the Fair Market Value of such shares of Common Stock on the date of grant. Subject to Section 15(b), the Committee may accelerate the vesting and/or the lapse of any or all of the restrictions on any Other Stock-Based Award, which acceleration shall not affect any other terms and conditions of such Award.

11. Performance Compensation Awards.

(a) Generally. The Committee shall have the authority, at or before the time of grant of any Award described in Sections 7 through 10 of the Plan, to designate such Award as a Performance Compensation Award.  In addition, the Committee shall have the authority to make an award of a cash bonus to any Participant and designate such Award as a Performance Compensation Award.  Performance Compensation Awards, including any cash bonus awards designated as Performance Compensation Awards, that are eligible for grandfathered status to qualify as “performance-based compensation” are intended to qualify as “performance-based compensation” under Section 162(m) of the Code and shall be administered in accordance with the terms thereof.  Notwithstanding the foregoing, any Award that is eligible for grandfathered status to qualify as “performance-based compensation” made to a Participant who is a “covered employee” within the meaning of Section 162(m) for a fiscal year that satisfies the requirements of this Section 11 may be treated as a Performance Compensation Award intended to qualify as “performance based compensation” under Section 162(m) of the Code in the absence of any such Committee designation and shall be administered in accordance with the terms thereof.

(b) Discretion of Committee with Respect to Performance Compensation Awards. Subject to Section 15(b), the Committee may select the length of a Performance Period, the type(s) of Performance Compensation Awards to be issued, the Performance Criteria used to establish the Performance Goal(s), the kind(s) and/or level(s) of the Performance Goals(s) and the Performance Formula.

(c) Performance Criteria. The Performance Criteria that will be used to establish the Performance Goal(s) may be based on the attainment of specific levels of performance of the Company (and/or one or more Affiliates, divisions or operational and/or business units, product lines, brands, business segments, administrative departments, units, or any combination of the foregoing) and shall be based on the following: (i) net earnings or net income (before or after taxes); (ii) basic or diluted earnings per share (before or after taxes); (iii) net revenue or net revenue growth; (iv) gross revenue or gross revenue growth, gross profit or gross profit growth, or gross billings or gross billings growth; (v) net operating profit (before or after taxes); (vi) return measures (including, but not limited to, return on investment, assets, capital, gross revenue or gross revenue growth, invested capital, equity or sales); (vii) cash flow measures (including, but not limited to, operating cash flow, free cash flow and cash flow return on capital), which may but are not required to be measured on a per-share basis; (viii) earnings before or after taxes, interest, depreciation, and amortization on an adjusted or unadjusted basis (including EBIT and EBITDA); (ix) gross or net operating margins; (x) productivity ratios; (xi) share price (including, but not limited to, growth measures and total shareholder return); (xii) expense targets or cost reduction goals, general and administrative expense savings; (xiii) operating efficiency; (xiv) objective measures of customer satisfaction; (xv) working capital targets; (xvi) measures of economic value added or other “value creation” metrics; (xvii) enterprise value; (xviii) stockholder return; (xix) client retention; (xx) competitive market metrics; (xxi) employee retention; (xxii) objective measures of personal targets, goals or completion of projects (including but not limited to succession and hiring projects, completion of specific acquisitions, reorganizations or other corporate transactions or capital-raising transactions, expansions of specific business operations and meeting divisional or project budgets); (xxiii) system-wide revenues; (xxiv) cost of capital, debt leverage year-end cash position or book value; (xxv) strategic objectives, development of new product lines and related revenue, sales and margin targets, or international operations; (xxvi) any combination of the foregoing or (xxvii) any other performance measure established by the Committee. Any one or more of the Performance Criteria may be stated as a percentage of another Performance Criteria, or a percentage of a prior period’s Performance Criteria, or used on an absolute, relative or adjusted basis to measure the performance of the Company and/or one

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or more Affiliates as a whole or any divisions or operational and/or business units, product lines, brands, business segments, administrative departments of the Company and/or one or more Affiliates or any combination thereof, as the Committee may deem appropriate, or any of the above Performance Criteria may be compared to the performance of a group of comparator companies, or a published or special index that the Committee deems appropriate, or as compared to various stock market indices. Subject to Section 15(b), the Committee also has the authority to provide for accelerated vesting, delivery and exercisability of any Award based on the achievement of Performance Goals pursuant to the Performance Criteria specified in this paragraph.

(d) Modification of Performance Goal(s). The Committee may modify the calculation of a Performance Goal at any time (provided that, with respect to Performance Compensation Awards that are eligible for grandfathered status to qualify as “performance-based compensation” under Section 162(m), the change would not cause any Performance Compensation Award to fail to qualify as “performance-based compensation” under Section 162(m)), to reflect any of the following events: (i) asset write-downs; (ii) litigation or claim judgments or settlements; (iii) the effect of changes in tax laws, accounting principles, or other laws or regulatory rules affecting reported results; (iv) any reorganization and restructuring programs; (v) unusual or nonrecurring items as described in Accounting Standards Codification Topic 225-20 (or any successor pronouncement thereto) and/or in management’s discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations appearing in the Company’s annual report to shareholders for the applicable year; (vi) acquisitions or divestitures; (vii) any other specific unusual or nonrecurring events, or objectively determinable category thereof; (viii) foreign exchange gains and losses; (ix) discontinued operations and nonrecurring charges; (x) a change in the Company’s fiscal year; and (xi) any other events or factors as the Committee may determine.

 

(e) Payment of Performance Compensation Awards.

(i) Condition to Receipt of Payment. Unless otherwise provided in the applicable Award agreement or any employment, consulting, change-in-control, severance or other agreement between the Participant and the Company or an Affiliate, the Participant must be employed by or rendering services for the Company or an Affiliate on the last day of a Performance Period to be eligible for payment in respect of a Performance Compensation Award for such Performance Period.

(ii) Limitation. Unless otherwise provided in the applicable Award agreement, or any employment, consulting, change-in-control, severance or other agreement between the Participant and the Company or an Affiliate, the Participant shall be eligible to receive payment or delivery, as applicable, in respect of a Performance Compensation Award only to the extent the Committee determines that: (A) the Performance Goals for such period are achieved, as determined by the Committee; and (B) all or some of the portion of such Participant’s Performance Compensation Award has been earned for the Performance Period based on the application of the Performance Formula to such achieved Performance Goals, as determined by the Committee.  Subject to Section 15(b), the Committee may accelerate the vesting and/or the lapse of any or all of the restrictions on a Performance Compensation Award, which acceleration shall not affect any other terms and conditions of such Award.

(f) Timing of Award Payments. Unless otherwise provided in the applicable Award agreement, Performance Compensation Awards granted for a Performance Period shall be paid to Participants as soon as administratively practicable following certification by the Committee regarding whether and to what extent the Performance Goals for the Performance Period have been achieved. Any Performance Compensation Award that has been deferred shall not (between the date as of which the Award is deferred and the payment date) increase (i) with respect to a Performance Compensation Award that is payable in cash, by a measuring factor for each fiscal year greater than a reasonable rate of interest set by the Committee or (ii) with respect to a Performance Compensation Award that is payable in shares of Common Stock, by an amount greater than the appreciation of a share of Common Stock from the date such Award is deferred to the payment date. Unless otherwise provided in an Award agreement, any Performance Compensation Award that is deferred and is otherwise payable in shares of Common Stock shall be credited (during the period between the date as of which the Award is deferred and the payment date) with dividend equivalents (in a manner consistent with the methodology set forth in the last sentence of Section 9(d)(ii)).  

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12. Changes in Capital Structure and Similar Events. In the event of (a) any dividend (other than regular cash dividends) or other distribution (whether in the form of cash, shares of Common Stock, other securities or other property), recapitalization, stock split, reverse stock split, reorganization, merger, consolidation, split-up, split-off, spin-off, combination, repurchase or exchange of shares of Common Stock or other securities of the Company, issuance of warrants or other rights to acquire shares of Common Stock or other securities of the Company, or other similar corporate transaction or event (including, without limitation, a Change in Control) that affects the shares of Common Stock, or (b) unusual or nonrecurring events (including, without limitation, a Change in Control) affecting the Company, any Affiliate or the financial statements of the Company or any Affiliate, or changes in applicable rules, rulings, regulations or other requirements of any governmental body or securities exchange or inter-dealer quotation service, accounting principles or law, such that in any case an adjustment is determined by the Committee to be necessary or appropriate, then the Committee shall make any such adjustments in such manner as it may deem equitable, including without limitation any or all of the following:

 

 

(i)

adjusting any or all of (A) the number of shares of Common Stock or other securities of the Company (or number and kind of other securities or other property) which may be delivered in respect of Awards or with respect to which Awards may be granted under the Plan (including, without limitation, adjusting any or all of the limitations under Section 5 of the Plan) and (B) the terms of any outstanding Award, including, without limitation, (1) the number of shares of Common Stock or other securities of the Company (or number and kind of other securities or other property) subject to outstanding Awards or to which outstanding Awards relate, (2) the Exercise Price or Strike Price with respect to any Award or (3) any applicable performance measures (including, without limitation, Performance Criteria, Performance Formula and Performance Goals);

 

 

(ii)

providing for a substitution or assumption of Awards (or awards of an acquiring company), accelerating the delivery, vesting and/or exercisability of, lapse of restrictions and/or other conditions on, or termination of, Awards or providing for a period of time (which shall not be required to be more than ten (10) days) for Participants to exercise outstanding Awards prior to the occurrence of such event (and any such Award not so exercised shall terminate upon the occurrence of such event); and

 

 

(iii)

cancelling any one or more outstanding Awards (or awards of an acquiring company) and causing to be paid to the holders thereof, in cash, shares of Common Stock, other securities or other property, or any combination thereof, the value of such Awards, if any, as determined by the Committee (which if applicable may be based upon the price per share of Common Stock received or to be received by other shareholders of the Company in such event), including without limitation, in the case of an outstanding Option or SAR, a cash payment in an amount equal to the excess, if any, of the Fair Market Value (as of a date specified by the Committee) of the shares of Common Stock subject to such Option or SAR over the aggregate Exercise Price or Strike Price of such Option or SAR, respectively (it being understood that, in such event, any Option or SAR having a per share Exercise Price or Strike Price equal to, or in excess of, the Fair Market Value of a share of Common Stock subject thereto may be canceled and terminated without any payment or consideration therefor);

 

provided, however, that the Committee shall make an equitable or proportionate adjustment to outstanding Awards to reflect any “equity restructuring” (within the meaning of the Financial Accounting Standards Codification Topic 718 (or any successor pronouncement thereto)). Except as otherwise determined by the Committee, any adjustment in Incentive Stock Options under this Section 12 (other than any cancellation of Incentive Stock Options) shall be made only to the extent not constituting a “modification” within the meaning of Section 424(h)(3) of the Code, and any adjustments under this Section 12 shall be made in a manner which does not adversely affect the exemption provided pursuant to Rule 16b-3 promulgated under the Exchange Act. The Company shall give each Participant notice of an adjustment hereunder and, upon notice, such adjustment shall be conclusive and binding for all purposes.

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13. Effect of Change in Control. Except to the extent otherwise provided in an Award agreement, or any applicable employment, consulting, change-in-control, severance or other agreement between the Participant and the Company or an Affiliate, in the event of a Change in Control, notwithstanding any provision of the Plan to the contrary:

(a) In the event the Participant’s employment with the Company or an Affiliate is terminated by the Company or Affiliate without Cause (and other than due to death or Disability) on or within 12 months following a Change in Control, the Committee may provide that all Options and SARs held by such Participant shall become immediately exercisable with respect to 100% of the shares subject to such Options and SARs, and that the Restricted Period (and any other conditions) shall expire immediately with respect to 100% of the shares of Restricted Stock and Restricted Stock Units and any other Awards held by such Participant (including a waiver of any applicable Performance Goals); provided, that in the event the vesting or exercisability of any Award would otherwise be subject to the achievement of performance conditions, the portion of such Award that shall become fully vested and immediately exercisable shall be based on the assumed achievement of target performance as determined by the Committee and prorated for the number of days elapsed from the grant date of such Award through the date of termination.

(b) In addition, the Committee may upon at least ten (10) days’ advance notice to the affected persons, cancel any outstanding Award and pay to the holders thereof, in cash, securities or other property (including of the acquiring or successor company), or any combination thereof, the value of such Awards based upon the price per share of Common Stock received or to be received by other shareholders of the Company in the event. Notwithstanding the above, the Committee shall exercise such discretion over any Award subject to Code Section 409A at the time such Award is granted.

To the extent practicable, the provisions of this Section 13 shall occur in a manner and at a time which allows affected Participants the ability to participate in the Change in Control transaction with respect to the Common Stock subject to their Awards.

14. Amendments and Termination.

(a) Amendment and Termination of the Plan. The Board may amend, alter, suspend, discontinue, or terminate the Plan or any portion thereof at any time; provided, that no such amendment, alteration, suspension, discontinuation or termination shall be made without shareholder approval if such approval is necessary to comply with any tax or regulatory requirement applicable to the Plan (including, without limitation, as necessary to comply with any rules or requirements of any securities exchange or inter-dealer quotation service on which the shares of Common Stock may be listed or quoted, for changes in GAAP to new accounting standards); provided, further, that any such amendment, alteration, suspension, discontinuance or termination that would materially and adversely affect the rights of any Participant or any holder or beneficiary of any Award theretofore granted shall not to that extent be effective without the consent of the affected Participant, holder or beneficiary, unless the Committee determines that such amendment, alteration, suspension, discontinuance or termination either is required or advisable in order for the Company, the Plan or the Award to satisfy any applicable law or regulation. Notwithstanding the foregoing, no amendment shall be made to the last proviso of Section 14(b) without shareholder approval.

(b) Amendment of Award Agreements. The Committee may, to the extent not inconsistent with the terms of any applicable Award agreement and the Plan, waive any conditions or rights under, amend any terms of, or alter, suspend, discontinue, cancel or terminate, any Award theretofore granted or the associated Award agreement, prospectively or retroactively (including after the Participant’s termination of employment or service with the Company); provided, that any such waiver, amendment, alteration, suspension, discontinuance, cancellation or termination that would materially and adversely affect the rights of any Participant with respect to any Award theretofore granted shall not to that extent be effective without the consent of the affected Participant unless the Committee determines that such waiver, amendment, alteration, suspension, discontinuance, cancellation or termination either is required or advisable in order for the Company, the Plan or the Award to satisfy any applicable law or regulation; provided, further, that except as otherwise permitted under Section 12 of the Plan, if (i) the Committee reduces the Exercise Price of any Option or the Strike Price of any SAR, (ii) the Committee cancels any outstanding Option or SAR and replaces it with a new Option or SAR (with a lower Exercise Price or

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Strike Price, as the case may be) or other Award or cash in a manner which would either (A) be reportable on the Company’s proxy statement or Form 10-K (if applicable) as Options which have been “repriced” (as such term is used in Item 402 of Regulation S-K promulgated under the Exchange Act), or (B) result in any “repricing” for financial statement reporting purposes (or otherwise cause the Award to fail to qualify for equity accounting treatment), (iii) the Committee cancels any outstanding Option or SAR that has a per share Exercise Price or per share Strike Price (as applicable) at or above the Fair Market Value of a share of Common Stock on the date of cancellation, and pays any consideration to the holder thereof, whether in cash, securities or other property, or any combination thereof, or (iv) the Committee takes any other action which is considered a “repricing” for purposes of the shareholder approval rules of the applicable securities exchange or inter-dealer quotation service on which the Common Stock is listed or quoted, then, in the case of the immediately preceding clauses (i) through (iv), any such action shall not be effective without shareholder approval.

15. General.

(a) Award Agreements; Other Agreements. Each Award under the Plan shall be evidenced by an Award agreement, which shall be delivered to the Participant and shall specify the terms and conditions of the Award and any rules applicable thereto. An Award agreement may be in written or electronic form and shall be signed (either in written or electronic form) by the Participant and a duly authorized representative of the Company. The terms of any Award agreement, or any employment, change-in-control, severance or other agreement in effect with the Participant, may have terms or features different from and/or additional to those set forth in the Plan, and, unless expressly provided otherwise in such Award or other agreement, shall control in the event of any conflict with the terms of the Plan.

(b) Minimum Vesting.  No Award granted on or after the Effective Date shall vest earlier than the first anniversary of its date of grant, unless such Award is granted in lieu of salary, bonus or other compensation otherwise earned by or payable to the Participant.  The minimum vesting provision in the foregoing sentence shall not apply to (i) early vesting by reason of death, disability or a change in control of the Company or (ii) Awards granted in the aggregate for up to 5% of the maximum number of authorized shares set forth in Section 5(a) hereof.  

(c) Nontransferability.

(i) Each Award shall be exercisable only by the Participant during the Participant’s lifetime, or, if permissible under applicable law, by the Participant’s legal guardian or representative. No Award may be assigned, alienated, pledged, attached, sold or otherwise transferred or encumbered by the Participant other than by will or by the laws of descent and distribution and any such purported assignment, alienation, pledge, attachment, sale, transfer or encumbrance shall be void and unenforceable against the Company or an Affiliate; provided, that the designation of a beneficiary shall not constitute an assignment, alienation, pledge, attachment, sale, transfer or encumbrance.

(ii) Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Committee may permit Awards (other than Incentive Stock Options) to be transferred by the Participant, without consideration, subject to such rules as the Committee may adopt, to: (A) any person who is a “family member” of the Participant, as such term is used in the instructions to Form S-8 under the Securities Act or any successor form of registration statements promulgated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (collectively, the “Immediate Family Members”); (B) a trust solely for the benefit of the Participant and the Participant’s Immediate Family Members; (C) a partnership or limited liability company whose only partners or shareholders are the Participant and the Participant’s Immediate Family Members; or (D) any other transferee as may be approved either (1) by the Board or the Committee, or (2) as provided in the applicable Award agreement; (each transferee described in clauses (A), (B), (C) and (D) above is hereinafter referred to as a “Permitted Transferee”); provided, that the Participant gives the Committee advance written notice describing the terms and conditions of the proposed transfer and the Committee notifies the Participant in writing that such a transfer would comply with the requirements of the Plan.

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(iii) The terms of any Award transferred in accordance with the immediately preceding sentence shall apply to the Permitted Transferee and any reference in the Plan, or in any applicable Award agreement, to the Participant shall be deemed to refer to the Permitted Transferee, except that (A) Permitted Transferees shall not be entitled to transfer any Award, other than by will or the laws of descent and distribution; (B) Permitted Transferees shall not be entitled to exercise any transferred Option unless there shall be in effect a registration statement on an appropriate form covering the shares of Common Stock to be acquired pursuant to the exercise of such Option if the Committee determines, consistent with any applicable Award agreement, that such a registration statement is necessary or appropriate; (C) the Committee or the Company shall not be required to provide any notice to a Permitted Transferee, whether or not such notice is or would otherwise have been required to be given to the Participant under the Plan or otherwise; and (D) the consequences of the termination of the Participant’s employment by, or services to, the Company or an Affiliate under the terms of the Plan and the applicable Award agreement shall continue to be applied with respect to the transferred Award, including, without limitation, that an Option shall be exercisable by the Permitted Transferee only to the extent, and for the periods, specified in the Plan and the applicable Award agreement.

(d) Dividends and Dividend Equivalents. The Committee may provide the Participant as part of an Award with dividends or dividend equivalents, payable in cash, shares of Common Stock, other securities, other Awards or other property, on a current or deferred basis, on such terms and conditions as may be determined by the Committee, including, without limitation reinvestment in additional shares of Common Stock, Restricted Stock or other Awards, but any such dividends or dividend equivalents will in any event be subject to the same restrictions on transfer and forfeitability (including, for the avoidance of doubt, time-based vesting conditions) as the Award with respect to which the dividends or dividend equivalents are paid; provided, that no dividends or dividend equivalents shall be payable in respect of outstanding (i) Options or SARs or (ii) unearned Performance Compensation Awards or other unearned Awards subject to performance conditions (other than or in addition to the passage of time); provided, further, that any dividend equivalents shall be accumulated in respect of unearned Awards and paid as soon as administratively practicable, but no more than 60 days, after such Awards are earned and become payable or distributable (and the right to any such accumulated dividends or dividend equivalents shall be forfeited upon the forfeiture of the Award to which such dividends or dividend equivalents relate).

 

(e) Tax Withholding.

(i) The Participant shall be required to pay to the Company or any Affiliate, and the Company or any Affiliate shall have the right (but not the obligation) and is hereby authorized to withhold, from any cash, shares of Common Stock, other securities or other property deliverable under any Award or from any compensation or other amounts owing to the Participant, the amount (in cash, Common Stock, other securities or other property) of any required withholding taxes in respect of an Award, its exercise, or any payment or transfer under an Award or under the Plan and to take such other action as the Committee or the Company deem necessary to satisfy all obligations for the payment of such withholding taxes.

(ii) Without limiting the generality of clause (i) above, the Committee may permit the Participant to satisfy, in whole or in part, the foregoing withholding liability by (A) payment in cash; (B) the delivery of shares of Common Stock (which are not subject to any pledge or other security interest) owned by the Participant having a Fair Market Value equal to such withholding liability or (C) having the Company withhold from the number of shares of Common Stock otherwise issuable or deliverable pursuant to the exercise or settlement of the Award a number of shares with a Fair Market Value equal to such withholding liability, provided that, in the case of (C), the number of shares of Common Stock which may be so withheld or surrendered shall be limited to the number of shares which have a Fair Market Value on the date of withholding or repurchase equal to the aggregate amount of such liabilities based on the minimum statutory withholding rates for federal, state, local and foreign income tax and payroll tax purposes that are applicable to such supplemental taxable income, except that, to the extent that the Company is able to retain shares of Common Stock having a Fair Market Value that exceeds the statutory minimum applicable withholding tax without financial accounting implications or the Company is withholding in a jurisdiction that does not have a statutory minimum withholding tax, the Company may retain such

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number of shares of Common Stock (up to the number of shares having a Fair Market Value equal to the maximum individual statutory rate of tax) as the Company shall determine in its discretion to satisfy the tax liability associated with any Award.

(f) No Claim to Awards; No Rights to Continued Employment. No employee of the Company or an Affiliate, or other person, shall have any claim or right to be granted an Award under the Plan or, having been selected for the grant of an Award, to be selected for a grant of any other Award. There is no obligation for uniformity of treatment of Participants or holders or beneficiaries of Awards. The terms and conditions of Awards and the Committee’s determinations and interpretations with respect thereto need not be the same with respect to each Participant and may be made selectively among Participants, whether or not such Participants are similarly situated. Neither the Plan nor any action taken hereunder shall be construed as giving any Participant any right to be retained in the employ or service of the Company or an Affiliate, nor shall it be construed as giving any Participant any rights to continued service on the Board.

(g) International Participants. With respect to Participants who reside or work outside of the United States, the Committee may amend the terms of the Plan or appendices thereto, or outstanding Awards, with respect to such Participants, in order to conform such terms with or accommodate the requirements of local laws, procedures or practices or to obtain more favorable tax or other treatment for the Participant, the Company or its Affiliates. Without limiting the generality of this subsection, the Committee is specifically authorized to adopt rules, procedures and sub-plans with provisions that limit or modify rights on death, disability, retirement or other terminations of employment, available methods of exercise or settlement of an Award, payment of income, social insurance contributions or payroll taxes, withholding procedures and handling of any stock certificates or other indicia of ownership which vary with local requirements. The Committee may also adopt rules, procedures or sub-plans applicable to particular Affiliates or locations.

(h) Beneficiary Designation. The Participant’s beneficiary shall be deemed to be the Participant’s spouse (or domestic partner if such status is recognized by the Company and in such jurisdiction), or if the Participant is otherwise unmarried at the time of death, the Participant’s estate, except to the extent a different beneficiary is designated in accordance with procedures that may be established by the Committee from time to time for such purpose. Notwithstanding the foregoing, in the absence of a beneficiary validly designated under such Committee-established procedures and/or applicable law who is living (or in existence) at the time of death of a Participant residing or working outside the United States, any required distribution under the Plan shall be made to the executor or administrator of the estate of the Participant, or to such other individual as may be prescribed by applicable law.

(i) Termination of Employment or Service. Except as otherwise provided in an Award agreement, or any employment, consulting, change-in-control, severance or other agreement between the Participant and the Company or an Affiliate, unless determined otherwise by the Committee: (i) neither a temporary absence from employment or service due to illness, vacation or leave of absence (including, without limitation, a call to active duty for military service through a Reserve or National guard unit) nor a transfer from employment or service with the Company to employment or service with an Affiliate (or vice versa) shall be considered a termination of employment or service with the Company or an Affiliate; and (ii) if the Participant’s employment with the Company or its Affiliates terminates, but such Participant continues to provide services with the Company or its Affiliates in a non-employee capacity (including as a non-employee director) (or vice versa), such change in status shall not be considered a termination of employment or service with the Company or an Affiliate for purposes of the Plan.

(j) No Rights as a Shareholder. Except as otherwise specifically provided in the Plan or any Award agreement, no person shall be entitled to the privileges of ownership in respect of shares of Common Stock which are subject to Awards hereunder until such shares have been issued or delivered to that person.

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(k) Government and Other Regulations.

(i) Nothing in the Plan shall be deemed to authorize the Committee or Board or any members thereof to take any action contrary to applicable law or regulation, or rules of Nasdaq or any other securities exchange or inter-dealer quotation service on which the Common Stock is listed or quoted.

(ii) The obligation of the Company to settle Awards in Common Stock or other consideration shall be subject to all applicable laws, rules, and regulations, and to such approvals by governmental agencies as may be required. Notwithstanding any terms or conditions of any Award to the contrary, the Company shall be under no obligation to offer to sell or to sell, and shall be prohibited from offering to sell or selling, any shares of Common Stock pursuant to an Award unless such shares have been properly registered for sale pursuant to the Securities Act with the Securities and Exchange Commission or unless the Company has received an opinion of counsel, satisfactory to the Company, that such shares may be offered or sold without such registration pursuant to and in compliance with the terms of an available exemption. The Company shall be under no obligation to register for sale under the Securities Act any of the shares of Common Stock to be offered or sold under the Plan. The Committee shall have the authority to provide that all shares of Common Stock or other securities of the Company or any Affiliate delivered under the Plan shall be subject to such stop transfer orders and other restrictions as the Committee may deem advisable under the Plan, the applicable Award agreement, the U.S. federal securities laws, or the rules, regulations and other requirements of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, any securities exchange or inter-dealer quotation service upon which such shares or other securities of the Company are then listed or quoted and any other applicable Federal, state, local or non-U.S. laws, rules, regulations and other requirements, and, without limiting the generality of Section 9 of the Plan, the Committee may cause a legend or legends to be put on any such certificates of Common Stock or other securities of the Company or any Affiliate delivered under the Plan to make appropriate reference to such restrictions or may cause such Common Stock or other securities of the Company or any Affiliate delivered under the Plan in book-entry form to be held subject to the Company’s instructions or subject to appropriate stop-transfer orders. Notwithstanding any provision in the Plan to the contrary, the Committee reserves the right to add any additional terms or provisions to any Award granted under the Plan that it in its sole discretion deems necessary or advisable in order that such Award complies with the legal requirements of any governmental entity to whose jurisdiction the Award is subject.

(iii) The Committee may cancel an Award or any portion thereof if it determines that legal or contractual restrictions and/or blockage and/or other market considerations would make the Company’s acquisition of shares of Common Stock from the public markets, the Company’s issuance of Common Stock to the Participant, the Participant’s acquisition of Common Stock from the Company and/or the Participant’s sale of Common Stock to the public markets, illegal, impracticable or inadvisable. If the Committee determines to cancel all or any portion of an Award in accordance with the foregoing, unless prevented by applicable laws, the Company shall pay to the Participant an amount equal to the excess of (A) the aggregate Fair Market Value of the shares of Common Stock subject to such Award or portion thereof canceled (determined as of the applicable exercise date, or the date that the shares would have been vested or delivered, as applicable), over (B) the aggregate Exercise Price or Strike Price (in the case of an Option or SAR, respectively) or any amount payable as a condition of delivery of shares of Common Stock (in the case of any other Award). Such amount shall be delivered to the Participant as soon as practicable following the cancellation of such Award or portion thereof.

(l) No Section 83(b) Elections Without Consent of Company. No election under Section 83(b) of the Code or under a similar provision of law may be made unless expressly permitted by the terms of the applicable Award agreement or by action of the Committee in writing prior to the making of such election. If the Participant, in connection with the acquisition of shares of Common Stock under the Plan or otherwise, is expressly permitted to make such election and the Participant makes the election, the Participant shall notify the Company of such election within ten days of filing notice of the election with the Internal Revenue Service or other governmental authority, in addition to any filing and notification required pursuant to Section 83(b) of the Code or other applicable provision.

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(m) Payments to Persons Other Than Participants. If the Committee shall find that any person to whom any amount is payable under the Plan is unable to care for the Participant’s affairs because of illness or accident, or is a minor, or has died, then any payment due to such person or the Participant’s estate (unless a prior claim therefor has been made by a duly appointed legal representative or a beneficiary designation form has been filed with the Company) may, if the Committee so directs the Company, be paid to the Participant’s spouse, child, relative, an institution maintaining or having custody of such person, or any other person deemed by the Committee to be a proper recipient on behalf of such person otherwise entitled to payment. Any such payment shall be a complete discharge of the liability of the Committee and the Company therefor.

(n) Nonexclusivity of the Plan. Neither the adoption of the Plan by the Board nor the submission of the Plan to the shareholders of the Company for approval shall be construed as creating any limitations on the power of the Board to adopt such other incentive arrangements as it may deem desirable, including, without limitation, the granting of stock options otherwise than under the Plan, and such arrangements may be either applicable generally or only in specific cases.

(o) No Trust or Fund Created. Neither the Plan nor any Award shall create or be construed to create a trust or separate fund of any kind or a fiduciary relationship between the Company or any Affiliate, on the one hand, and the Participant or other person or entity, on the other hand. No provision of the Plan or any Award shall require the Company, for the purpose of satisfying any obligations under the Plan, to purchase assets or place any assets in a trust or other entity to which contributions are made or otherwise to segregate any assets, nor shall the Company maintain separate bank accounts, books, records or other evidence of the existence of a segregated or separately maintained or administered fund for such purposes. Participants shall have no rights under the Plan other than as unsecured general creditors of the Company.

(p) Reliance on Reports. Each member of the Committee and each member of the Board (and their respective designees) shall be fully justified in acting or failing to act, as the case may be, and shall not be liable for having so acted or failed to act in good faith, in reliance upon any report made by the independent registered public accounting firm of the Company and its Affiliates and/or any other information furnished in connection with the Plan by any agent of the Company or the Committee or the Board, other than himself or herself.

(q) Relationship to Other Benefits. No payment under the Plan shall be taken into account in determining any benefits under any pension, retirement, profit sharing, group insurance or other benefit plan of the Company except as otherwise specifically provided in such other plan.

(r) Purchase for Investment. Whether or not the Options and shares covered by the Plan have been registered under the Securities Act, each person exercising an Option under the Plan or acquiring shares under the Plan, may be required by the Company to give a representation in writing that such person is acquiring such shares for investment and not with a view to, or for sale in connection with, the distribution of any part thereof. The Company will endorse any necessary legend referring to the foregoing restriction upon the certificate or certificates representing any shares issued or transferred to the Participant upon the exercise of any Option granted under the Plan.

(s) Governing Law. The Plan shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Delaware, without regard to principles of conflicts of laws thereof, or principles of conflicts of laws of any other jurisdiction which could cause the application of the laws of any jurisdiction other than the State of Delaware.

(t) Severability. If any provision of the Plan or any Award or Award agreement is or becomes or is deemed to be invalid, illegal, or unenforceable in any jurisdiction or as to any person or entity or Award, or would disqualify the Plan or any Award under any law deemed applicable by the Committee, such provision shall be construed or deemed amended to conform to the applicable laws, or if it cannot be construed or deemed amended without, in the determination of the Committee, materially altering the intent of the Plan or the Award, such provision shall be construed or deemed stricken as to such jurisdiction, person or entity or Award and the remainder of the Plan and any such Award shall remain in full force and effect.

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(u) Obligations Binding on Successors. The obligations of the Company under the Plan shall be binding upon any successor corporation or organization resulting from the merger, consolidation or other reorganization of the Company, or upon any successor corporation or organization succeeding to all or substantially all of the assets and business of the Company.

(v) 409A of the Code.

(i) It is intended that the Plan comply with Section 409A of the Code, and all provisions of the Plan shall be construed and interpreted in a manner consistent with the requirements for avoiding taxes or penalties under Section 409A of the Code. Each Participant is solely responsible and liable for the satisfaction of all taxes and penalties that may be imposed on or in respect of such Participant in connection with the Plan or any other plan maintained by the Company, including any taxes and penalties under Section 409A of the Code, and neither the Company nor any Affiliate shall have any obligation to indemnify or otherwise hold such Participant or any beneficiary harmless from any or all of such taxes or penalties. With respect to any Award that is considered “deferred compensation” subject to Section 409A of the Code, references in the Plan to “termination of employment” (and substantially similar phrases) shall mean “separation from service” within the meaning of Section 409A of the Code. For purposes of Section 409A of the Code, each of the payments that may be made in respect of any Award granted under the Plan is designated as a separate payment.

(ii) Notwithstanding anything in the Plan to the contrary, if the Participant is a “specified employee” within the meaning of Section 409A(a)(2)(B)(i) of the Code, no payments or deliveries in respect of any Awards that are “deferred compensation” subject to Section 409A of the Code shall be made to such Participant prior to the date that is (i) six months after the date of such Participant’s “separation from service” within the meaning of Section 409A of the Code or, if earlier, (ii) the first practicable date, consistent with the terms of Section 409A of the Code, following the Participant’s date of death. All such delayed payments or deliveries will be paid or delivered (without interest) in a single lump sum on the earliest date permitted under Section 409A of the Code that is also a business day.

(iii) In the event that the timing of payments in respect of any Award that would otherwise be considered “deferred compensation” subject to Section 409A of the Code would be accelerated upon the occurrence of (A) a Change in Control, no such acceleration shall be permitted unless the event giving rise to the Change in Control satisfies the definition of a change in the ownership or effective control of a corporation, or a change in the ownership of a substantial portion of the assets of a corporation pursuant to Section 409A of the Code and any Treasury Regulations promulgated thereunder or (B) a Disability, no such acceleration shall be permitted unless the Disability also satisfies the definition of “Disability” pursuant to Section 409A of the Code and any Treasury Regulations promulgated thereunder.

(w) Clawback/Forfeiture. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained herein, the Committee may provide in an Award agreement that: (i) clawback, forfeiture or similar provisions shall apply if the Participant engages in activity that is in conflict with or adverse to the interest of the Company or any of its Affiliates while employed by or providing services to the Company or any of its Affiliates, including fraud or conduct contributing to any financial restatements or irregularities, or if the Participant violates a noncompete, nonsolicit, nondisclosure or nondisparagement covenant or agreement with the Company or any of its Affiliates; (ii) in the case of an event described in the preceding subclause (i), the Participant will forfeit any compensation, gain or other value realized thereafter on the vesting, exercise or settlement of such Award, the sale or other transfer of such Award, or the sale of shares of Common Stock acquired in respect of such Award, and must promptly repay such amounts to the Company; and/or (iii) if the Participant receives any amount in excess of what the Participant should have received under the terms of the Award for any reason (including without limitation by reason of a financial restatement, mistake in calculations or other administrative error), all as determined by the Committee, then the Participant shall be required to promptly repay any such excess amount to the Company. In addition, to the extent required by applicable law (including, without limitation, Section 304 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and Section 954 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act) and/or the rules and regulations of Nasdaq or any other securities exchange or inter-dealer quotation service on which the

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Common Stock is listed or quoted, or if so required pursuant to a written policy adopted by the Company, Awards shall be subject (including on a retroactive basis) to clawback, forfeiture or similar requirements (and such requirements shall be deemed incorporated by reference into all outstanding Award agreements).

(x) No Representations or Covenants With Respect to Tax Qualification. Although the Company may endeavor to (i) qualify an Award for favorable U.S. or non-U.S. tax treatment or (ii) avoid adverse tax treatment, the Company makes no representation to that effect and expressly disavows any covenant to maintain favorable or avoid unfavorable tax treatment. The Company shall be unconstrained in its corporate activities without regard to the potential negative tax impact on holders of Awards under the Plan.

(y) Expenses; Gender; Titles and Headings. The expenses of administering the Plan shall be borne by the Company and its Affiliates. Masculine pronouns and other words of masculine gender shall refer to both men and women. The titles and headings of the sections in the Plan are for convenience of reference only, and in the event of any conflict, the text of the Plan, rather than such titles or headings shall control.

*     *     *

As adopted by the Board of Directors of the Company on February 25, 2020.

As approved by the shareholders of the Company on May 19, 2020.

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v3.20.1
Document And Entity Information
May 19, 2020
Cover [Abstract]  
Entity Registrant Name Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Co
Document Type 8-K
Amendment Flag false
Entity Central Index Key 0001580156
Document Period End Date May 19, 2020
Entity Emerging Growth Company false
Entity File Number 001-36166
Entity Incorporation, State or Country Code DE
Entity Tax Identification Number 27-1566372
Entity Address, Address Line One 125 High Street
Entity Address, City or Town Boston
Entity Address, State or Province MA
Entity Address, Postal Zip Code 02110
City Area Code 617
Local Phone Number 351-5000
Written Communications false
Soliciting Material false
Pre-commencement Tender Offer false
Pre-commencement Issuer Tender Offer false
Title of each class Common Stock, $0.01 par value
Trading Symbol HMHC
Name of each exchange on which registered NASDAQ