“Accelerated Vesting” is a contractual provision that accelerates the Vesting of a Stock Option or Restricted Stock when certain conditions occur.
For example, a Change of Control (e.g., sale of the company) may result in Accelerated Vesting so that the corresponding Optionee or Stockholder can realize the full value of his or her Equity Ownership position in connection with the transaction. In other cases, Accelerated Vesting may occur when an Employee is terminated without Cause, adding some sting to the Employer’s decision to terminate employment without Cause.
The Accelerated Vesting can be for some or all of the Unvested shares underlying the Stock Option or Restricted Stock.
The most common types of Accelerated Vesting are Single-Trigger Acceleration and Double-Trigger Acceleration.