|9 Months Ended|
Sep. 30, 2019
8. Employment Agreements
On March 11, 2019 (the “He Effective Date”), the Company entered into an employment agreement (the “He Employment Agreement”) with Mr. Xin (Adam) He, which He Employment Agreement continues until terminated in writing by either party or earlier terminated pursuant to the provisions of the He Employment Agreement. Under the He Employment Agreement, Mr. He will serve as the Company’s Chief Financial Officer, and receive an annual base salary of $200,000, subject to adjustment in the sole discretion of the Board or the Compensation Committee of the Board; provided however, that such annual base salary may not be decreased during Mr. He’s employment period. Mr. He will be eligible to receive an annual incentive bonus in an amount equal to up to fifty percent (50%) of his base salary, based upon the achievement of one or more performance goals, targets, measurements and other factors, established for such year by the Compensation Committee. Mr. He will also participate in all benefit plans and programs, subject to certain conditions and exceptions, as are generally provided by the Company to its other senior executive employees.
Under the terms of the He Employment Agreement, Mr. He is subject to non-solicitation, non-competition and non-interference restrictive covenants during his employment and for the 12-month period following his last day of employment with the Company. The He Employment Agreement also contains customary confidentiality, work product and return of Company property covenants.
In addition, Mr. He is entitled to severance pay if he is terminated without “cause” or resigns for “good reason,” each as defined in the He Employment Agreement. Upon such termination, Mr. He will be entitled to receive an amount equal to 30 days of his base salary, any earned but unpaid bonus for the year prior to the year of termination, and the pro rata portion of any bonus earned for the year in which termination occurs, as well as continuation of applicable benefits for a period of six months following his termination.
In connection with the approval of the He Employment Agreement, Mr. He also received a non-qualified stock option to purchase 30,000 shares of the Company’s common stock. The option will vest in accordance with the following schedule: (i) 1/3 of the shares underlying the option will vest immediately upon award, (ii) 1/3 of the shares underlying the option will vest on the first anniversary of the He Effective Date, and (iii) 1/3 of the shares underlying the option will vest on the second anniversary of the He Effective Date.
On October 10, 2019, Ms. Star Jones (“Ms. Jones”), the Company’s President and a member of the Board, announced her resignation from her position as the President effective as of December 31, 2019 and that she will not run for reelection as a director of the Company at the next annual shareholder meeting of the Company, which is currently scheduled to take place on December 17, 2019. Ms. Jones’ employment agreement with the Company expired on September 24, 2019. During the period between September 25, 2019 and December 31, 2019, Ms. Jones will receive the same level of compensation and benefits as before. At such meeting, the Board of Directors resolved to accept Ms. Jones’ resignation. Ms. Jones served in such capacity since September 2014, and her decision to resign was not due to any disagreement with the Company (as described in Item 5.02(a) of Form 8-K). The Company thanks Ms. Jones for her years of service to the Company.
On November 15, 2019, the Board of Directors of Professional Diversity Network, Inc. (the “Company”) appointed Mr. Xin (Adam) He (“Mr. He”), the Chief Financial Officer of the Company, to be the interim Chief Executive Officer of the Company effective immediately. The Board also appointed Mr. He to be a director of the Company filling the vacancy created by the resignation of Mr. Maoji (Michael) Wang. Mr. He will not receive any additional compensation for serving as the interim CEO and director of the Company.