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The full case caption appears at the end of this opinion.

Between 1994 and 1996, Billy Mauldin entered into four stock option agreements with his employer, MFS Intelenet, Inc. (MFS). Each agreement provided that Mauldin’s options would vest immediately if he suffered diminished responsibility or pay within two years of a change of control of MFS. Thus, after WorldCom, Inc. (WorldCom) acquired MFS in 1996 and allegedly altered the terms of Mauldin’s employment, Mauldin requested that he be allowed to exercise all of his options immediately. When WorldCom denied his request, Mauldin sued. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of WorldCom; we reverse and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

I.

In May 1994, MFS, which is in the business of providing telecommunications services, hired Mauldin into the position of city operations manager for Houston, Texas. One month later, Mauldin transferred to Los Angeles, California, but he returned to Texas in June 1996 as the city operations manager for Dallas. Mauldin’s responsibilities in Dallas included the design and maintenance of MFS’s telecommunications system. Mauldin also supervised three engineers, as well as a staff of unspecified size, who assisted him with his duties.

 
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