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Employment agreements set tone for entire tenure

By Mark Tarallo

As the year starts to wind down, for many association executives this means transition—retirement for some veterans and the first shot at the top slot for those moving into a new CEO job come the beginning of 2010.

Brand new CEOs may have a feeling of confidence surrounding their success in landing a plum job, but legal experts and recruiting specialists alike advise against taking a complacent attitude when negotiating that first contract.

And as one former CEO speaking on the condition of anonymity phrased it, "It's not about what you get going in; it's about how you are taken care of when you resign or are asked to leave."

To help guide new CEOs, aspiring leaders and executives about to renegotiate employment agreements, CEO Update is launching a three-part series addressing critical contract points and tapping into the shared expertise of those in the know. Think networking without the firm handshakes.

Though the first part of this series will focus on a CEO's first contract, the general principles apply whenever an executive plans to renegotiate an employment agreement.