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When a Unicorn Start-Up Stumbles, Its Employees Get Hurt @ The New York Times.

Missing out on the upside of the sale was bad enough, but that wasn’t the half of it. Some Good employees actually lost money when BlackBerry bought the company. Good was a unicorn, that is, a private company with a valuation of more than $1 billion. The high valuation increased the paper value of employee shares — and thus the income tax bills levied on their stock when they received the stock grants, or when they bought and sold shares. To pay those taxes, some employees emptied savings accounts and borrowed money.

“It’s not unusual for employees to be wiped out while venture capitalists make money,” said Dennis J. White, a partner in Boston at the law firm Verrill Dana, who has studied deals like Good’s.
Through their lawyers, Ms. Wyatt and Good’s board declined to comment. BlackBerry also declined to comment.

“We listened to these executives and, in the end, incurred huge tax bills because we trusted them,” Mr. Parks said. “Employees essentially ended up paying to work for the company.”

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This article is making the rounds, worth a read.