Elop's $25M Microsoft deal bonus creates Finnish furor

|By:, SA News Editor

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."