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Wednesday, Sep 25
Elop's $25M Microsoft deal bonus creates Finnish furor
- Following a local media uproar over the matter, Nokia (NOK +0.6%) is reportedly pressuring Stephen Elop to take a smaller bonus for the Microsoft deal than the $25M he's currently set to receive.
- Elop, now set to head Microsoft's Devices & Studios ops and viewed by many as a possible Steve Ballmer replacement, is said to be resisting Nokia's calls, arguing he needs the cash to pay for a divorce settlement and that his wife is unlikely to accept a smaller bonus.
- At issue: Elop's contract with Nokia calls for a $25M bonus in any "change of control" situation, provided shares rise from their absolute bottom. The fact Nokia shares remain below where they traded when Elop became CEO doesn't matter.
- Making matters worse: chairman/interim CEO Risto Siilasmaa had incorrectly stated Elop's bonus terms are similar to those provided to past Nokia CEOs. The head of Finland's Equity Investor Association recently called Siilasmaa's slip-up "unforgivable."