Seamon’s annual base salary was $335,000 as of Nov. 10 and he is eligible for a target annual cash bonus of $150,000, according to an employment agreement filed with the SEC in November. The agreement also stated that he would be “eligible to participate” in the company’s change in control and severance agreement “subject to approval by the board.”
But the agreement’s timing suggests it is a sort of retention strategy signaling that “he will be compensated for sticking it out during and after they hire a new CFO,” according to Shawn Cole, president of the boutique executive search firm Cowen Partners. Most internal interim CFOs typically want to retain the seat permanently and this is likely the board’s effort to avoid losing him at a precarious time for the company, he said.
Given the amount of time that has passed since he became interim CFO, he’s likely asking what the plan is, Cole wrote in an emailed response to questions, adding that severance at CFO pay level for six months is a “nice” benefit that more finance chiefs should negotiate. “They didn’t promote him but gave him a carrot to stick around,” Cole stated.
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Shawn Cole is a serial entrepreneur and executive leader with over 15 years’ experience founding and running successful companies. Shawn’s business career has been centered on value creation for both turnarounds and startups.
Shawn is President and Co-Founder of Cowen Partners, a national CFO executive search firm focused on the key elements of a successful business: sales, marketing, and finance. Business clients across the country trust Cowen Partners to take their companies to the next level by finding them executive talent, such as a CEO, CFO, COO, Chief Revenue Officer, and Chief Marketing Officer. Clients are both small and large, publicly traded, pre-IPO, private, and non-profit organizations, typically $50 million to multi-billion dollar revenue Fortune 1000 companies or have assets between $1 billion and $15 billion.
An active participant in the business community and startup space, Shawn Co-Chairs The Cowen Partners Venture Fund which provides seed funding and early stage investments, focusing on market disruptors in niche markets, community businesses, and minority entrepreneurs.
Shawn attended Oregon State University’s College of Business Austin Entrepreneurship Program and participated in a first-of-its-kind experiential entrepreneurship experiment at Weatherford Hall. He was also a Founding Member and President of Oregon State University’s Students in Free Enterprise, an international non-profit organization working with university students who want to positively change their communities and learn practical knowledge to become socially responsible business leaders.
At the age of 16 Shawn became a volunteer firefighter and EMT, eventually founding and managing a half marathon to raise funds for the community. To date, the marathon is still a success and has raised over one million dollars benefiting the community.