Moving day and merger specualtion?

November 10, 2005

For the past four years, Tod Nielsen has collected a paycheck from companies based in Silicon Valley: BEA Systems (BEAS) and Oracle (ORCL). Despite that, he’s managed to continue living in Redmond, Wa., at least according to this article. But now that Nielsen has been named the new CEO at Borland (BORL), it looks as if he’s going to have to hire a moving company, at least if he wants to collect a $1 million signing bonus.

According to the Nielsen’s employment contract filed in an 8-K on Tuesday, Nielsen, 40, will receive the $1 million bonus “to defray the increased cost of living in the San Francisco Bay area”. He’s set to collect the bonus by the end of next month, but will have to give it back if he doesn’t move by June 1. That’s in addition to the $600K salary, 250,000 restricted shares (with an unspecified vesting schedule) and 1.5 million options. Because Nielsen was only at Oracle for a few months, it’s not clear how his Borland deal compares. His agreement wasn’t disclosed in the proxy that Oracle filed in August.

One other interesting item was buried in this exhibit to the Q that Borland filed that same day. With rumors already flying that Nielsen’s former employer may buy his current one, this new agreement should only add to that speculation.

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