The stability of the connection between the antibody and the toxin can have a profound impact on ADC safety and efficacy. There has been increasing evidence in recent years that maleimide-based ADCs are prone to payload loss via a retro-Michael type reaction. Herein, we report a mild method for the hydrolysis of the succinimide-thioether ring which results in a "ring-opened" linker. ADCs containing this hydrolyzed succinimide linker show equivalent cytotoxicity, improved in vitro stability, improved PK exposure, and improved efficacy as compared to their nonhydrolyzed counterparts. This method offers a simple way to improve the stability, exposure, and efficacy of maleimide-based ADCs.