Feeds

Elop's enlarged package claim was a cock-up, admits Nokia chairman

'Twas an 'accident' to say whopping £15.6m payoff was unremarkable

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Nokia's chairman has admitted he was wrong to say that CEO Stephen Elop's €18.8m (£15.6m) payoff was all very regular and run of the mill.

As the Finnish giant came under political pressure for promising its outgoing chief exec the whopping windfall, chairman Risto Siilasmaa incorrectly told the press last week that Elop's golden goodbye was just the same as his predecessors' - and thus nothing to get upset about.

In fact, it was significantly more, thanks to €14.6m in stock awards that weren't on the table for the previous CEO Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo.

Ex-Microsoft executive Elop is heading back to the Redmond software giant, which on 3 September announced its €5.4bn move to buy Nokia's phone-making division. That declaration came on the same day that Elop apparently negotiated a more lucrative golden goodbye than the terms set out in his original contract. However, 70 per cent of the wedge, most of which is in shares, will be paid by Microsoft. The revised deal also eased the restrictions on working for a competitor.

Elop was originally eligible for one and a half years of salary, bonuses and share incentives if the company were to be sold or the management replaced. Siilasmaa had told reporters that Elop's bonuses would be in line with those of previous Nokia chief executives. Siilasmaa has now admitted to Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat that an “accident” had been made. The paper also reports that Elop is refusing to accept a smaller bonus because he's getting divorced - an unusually scurrilous detail for the Finnish press.

Finland's Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen called Elop's exit bonus “outrageous”, while the country's opposition leader warned of a "a threat to social harmony". Quite what he means isn't clear: perhaps small boys will stop helping old ladies across the road, or Finns will start casually micturating in public swimming pools.

The bonus is a gift to conspiracy theorists who allege that Elop was sent to Nokia from Microsoft in 2010 in order to sell the Finns' phone-making biz back to his former employer on the cheap; the incentives in Elop's final contract appear to ensure he was motivated to sell out quickly, rather than improve the share price.

That last part about Elop's incentives is unarguable, but the full conspiracy theory ignores the fact that the deal to sell the devices unit to Microsoft had already been made, and approved by the board, when the directors signed Elop's revised contract. It looks like carelessness, rather than conspiracy.

You can find the details of Elop's new contract in the proxy materials for Nokia's extraordinary general meeting about the sale to Microsoft here [PDF] on page 32. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
YARR! Pirates walk the plank: DMCA magnets sink in Google results
Spaffing copyrighted stuff over the web? No search ranking for you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.