Elop in for $25m to leave Nokia for MS

Dylan Bushell-Embling
23 Sep 2013

Some more key details of Microsoft's planned $7.2 billion takeover of Nokia's handset business have emerged, including the fact that Nokia CEO Stephen Elop is in line for a $25 million payout for leaving Nokia to lead up Microsoft's devices division.

The proposed €18.8 million ($25.4 million) package, tied to a change of control term in Elop's contract, has angered Finnish officials including its prime minister and finance minister, FT.comreported.

Both politicians have publicly commented in objection of the payout given the difficult times, with finance minister Jutta Urpilainen stating that it could represent a “threat to social harmony.”

The comments come in the midst of increasing opposition to the Nokia-Microsoft deal by Finnish politicians, unions and workers.

Under the merger plan, Microsoft will pay 70% of the compensation package while Nokia will pay the rest. Microsoft shouldering the majority of the payment has added to speculation that Elop could be a candidate to replace outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

Separately, a Nokia filing detailing the terms of the proposed deal to shareholders reveals that Nokia has agreed not to use the Nokia brand for its own devices until at least end-2015 if the deal goes through.

Nokia will also be unable to license the Nokia brand in connection with mobile device sales for at least 30 months.

Microsoft will meanwhile get a 10-year license to use the brand on current and future devices based on the Series 30 and Series 40 operating systems.

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