Big payday for 2degrees founder
2degrees co-founder Tex Edwards is set to receive over $1 million from 2degrees after the Employment Relations Authority ruled it had wrongly reduced his salary
By Tom Pullar-Strecker, Wellington | Wednesday, 3 October, 2012
2degrees co-founder Tex Edwards is set to receive over $1 million from 2degrees after the Employment Relations Authority ruled it had wrongly reduced his salary from $350,000 to $200,000 in 2008.
The authority ordered 2degrees make up the salary, plus interest, and pay Edwards compensation for backtracking on an agreement to offer him share options as part of an employee share option scheme, as well as a $4000 penalty.
However, in a minor win for 2degrees, the authority said Edwards was entitled to only two months' notice, rather than the three year notice period Edwards claimed.
The Employment Court has yet to hold a hearing into the separate matter of whether Edwards was also unfairly restructured out of his job as "company strategist" earlier this year.
Edwards is on "gardening leave" ahead of the October 29 hearing, which could set a precedent as to whether employers have the right to restructure their businesses as they see fit.
2degrees had claimed Edwards "acquiesced" to the 2008 salary cut, but that was denied by Edwards who said he repeatedly refused to a sign along the dotted line despite at one point being ordered by then chief operating officer Sean Dean to "sign the f...ing agreement".
The authority said only one of several relevant documents relating to Edwards' terms and conditions was in fact signed. 2degrees spokesman Mat Bolland said the company would not comment.