EXECUTIVE COMPENSATION (continued)
Our Board has historically determined our executive officers’ compensation and has typically reviewed and discussed management’s proposed compensation with our chief executive officer for all executives other than our chief executive officer. Based on those discussions and its discretion, our Board then determined the compensation of each executive officer.
Following our IPO, generally the Compensation Committee, rather than the full Board, approves the compensation of each executive officer (other than our Chief Executive Officer) and follows the process outlined above. The Compensation Committee reviews the performance of our Chief Executive Officer and makes recommendations to the Board with respect to his compensation, and our Board will retain the authority to make compensation decisions relative to our Chief Executive Officer.
Annual Base Salary
Base salaries for our executive officers are initially established through arm’s-length negotiations at the time of the executive officer’s hiring, taking into account such executive officer’s qualifications, experience, the scope of his or her responsibilities and competitive market compensation paid by other companies for similar positions within the industry and geography. Base salaries are reviewed periodically, typically in connection with our annual performance review process, and adjusted from time to time to realign salaries with market levels after taking into account individual responsibilities, performance and experience. In making decisions regarding salary increases, we may also draw upon the experience of members of our board of directors with executives at other companies. The 2020 base salaries for our named executive officers were as follows: (a) $502,170 for Mr. Gormsen, inclusive of a monthly housing allowance, (b) $300,000 for Mr. Brownie, and (c) $300,000 for Mr. Laponis.
In April 2020, as part of company-wide salary reductions, the base salaries for each of Mr. Gormsen, Mr. Brownie and Mr. Laponis were reduced by 20%, effective through December 31, 2020. The salary reductions were reversed effective January 1, 2021.
In January 2021 and February 2021, the Compensation Committee and the Board of Directors approved 2021 base salaries for our named executive officers as follows: (1) $550,000 for Mr. Gormsen, (b) $390,000 for Mr. Brownie, and $390,000 for Mr. Laponis.
Bonuses and Non-Equity Incentive Plan Compensation
Our named executive officers are each eligible to receive a discretionary annual bonus based on individual and company performance. However, no cash bonuses were awarded based on services provided during 2019.
In connection with the salary reductions implemented in April 2020, our Board approved a cash bonus plan, payable in the discretion of the Board based on company performance during 2020, of cash bonuses up to 50% of the reduced salary level for Mr. Gormsen and up to 35% of the respective reduced salary levels for Mr. Brownie and Mr. Laponis.
In April 2020 our Board approved a one-time special cash bonus opportunity for each of our employees, including Mr. Gormsen, Mr. Brownie and Mr. Laponis, by increasing each employee’s target bonus by the percentage of his or her respective salary reductions, which was 20% for each of Mr. Gormsen, Mr. Brownie and Mr. Laponis, payable in the discretion of the Board based on company performance during 2020.
Additionally, in January 2021 and February 2021, the Compensation Committee and the Board of Directors approved target bonus amounts for Mr. Gormsen, Mr. Brownie and Mr. Laponis of 80%, 60% and 50%, respectively, of their respective salary levels.
Equity-Based Incentive Awards
Our equity-based incentive awards are designed to align our interests and those of our stockholders with those of our employees and consultants, including our named executive officers.
We have historically used stock options as the principal equity incentive award for long-term compensation to our named executive officers because the return on the options is tied to an increase in our stock price. We may grant equity awards at such times as our Board or Compensation Committee determines appropriate. Additional grants may occur periodically in order to specifically incentivize executives with respect to achieving certain corporate goals or to reward executives for exceptional performance.
Prior to our IPO, all of the equity incentive awards we granted were made pursuant to our 2010 Plan. Following the IPO, the Company grants equity incentive awards under the terms of our 2020 Plan. See note 8 to our audited consolidated financial statements included in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2020, filed with the SEC on March 16, 2021, for a discussion of our 2010 Plan and our 2020 Plan.
All options are granted with an exercise price per share that is no less than the fair market value of our common stock on the date of grant of such award. In August 2020, in order to retain and properly incentivize our employees to continue our growth, we approved a