It’s a real issue with VP/SVP-led acquisitions. It’s not so much an issue for founder or CEO-led acquisitions.
Microsoft just bought Github for $7.5b and made each of the co-founders billionaires: Microsoft’s Acquisition Of GitHub Mints New Billionaires
While Bill Gates and Steve Ballamer are far richer — Satya Nadella is not. Still, a CEO-led deal. Founders and sometimes CEOs are generally fine making acquired executives super rich. So long as the acquisition works. After all, it makes their equity worth more. It’s worth it.
In another example, I do not think Mark Zuckerberg cared he made the WhatsApp founders billionaires or Kevin Systrom a centimillionaire. He cared that they executed on the vision and scaled their properties.
But smaller deals are often led by SVPs, not CEOs. And there I do see jealousy and related issues.
In a deal I was involved with, the SVP that led a nine-figure acquisition refused to give the acquired CEO any retention package. The CEO had already made more on the deal than the SVP had ever made. The CEO left in less than 6 months.
This happens a lot. It also happens with corp dev teams get to decide compensation.