The story: Friend of mine was working at a startup that was recently acquired. She hadn’t reached her one year cliff and was let go by the acquirer after the transaction completed.
Nonetheless the founding team took care of her, most likely through accelerated cliff vesting. Now she’s gone on to launch her own business using some of that seed capital.
Maybe not surprisingly one of the best VC’s in the business, Fred Wilson, says accelerated cliff vesting is the right thing to do in this kind of situation:
I believe that the cliff should not apply if the sale happens in the first year of employment. When you sell a company, you want everyone to get to go to the “pay window” as JLM calls it. And so the cliff should not apply in a sale event.
Founders who take care of people – when they don’t really have to – make fans for life.