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golden parachute

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noun
  1. an employment contract or agreement guaranteeing a key executive of a company substantial severance pay and other financial benefits in the event of job loss caused by the company's being sold or merged.
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Origin of golden parachute

First recorded in 1980–85
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for golden parachute

golden parachute

noun
  1. informal a clause in the employment contract of a senior executive providing for special benefits if the executive's employment is terminated as a result of a takeover
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

golden parachute in Culture

golden parachute

A provision in the contracts of many top executives that guarantees substantial benefits if they lose their positions.

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golden parachute

A generous package of benefits offered to an employee as an inducement for early retirement or departure from a company: “Following the merger, many executives decided to leave after the offer of a golden parachute.”

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Note

The term golden handshake means essentially the same thing: “The principal accepted the golden handshake in lieu of being demoted to assistant principal.”

Note

Both expressions are from the last quarter of the twentieth century, when such packages were offered frequently.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.