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Nokia's Stephen Elop to make more than $25 million for jumping to Microsoft

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Elop event recap
Elop event recap

Earlier this month Microsoft announced that it would be buying the phone division of Nokia for $7.2 billion. A leadership shuffle at Nokia was part of that, with the company's now-former CEO Stephen Elop heading to Redmond after the close of the deal — and as The New York Times points out he'll be making more than $25 million for taking the leap.

Elop stepped down as CEO and president of Nokia for a role as executive vice-president, but he'll be staying with the company until the deal itself finally closes. His contract with Nokia guaranteed him slightly different payouts depending on the circumstances of his departure from the company. An amended version of that agreement now entitles him to the same compensation whether he ends his employment contract with Nokia after the Microsoft acquisition closes, or if Nokia terminates his contract before that date. In both cases, he'll receive 18 months of his base salary along with various benefits and stock. The precise value won't be calculated until his departure actually occurs, but calculated using Nokia's closing stock price as of September 6th it comes out to a total of €18.8 million (about $25.4 million), including €4.1 million (around $5.5 million) in salary and incentives, and a whopping €14.6 million (around $19.8 million) in stock awards. Microsoft will cover about 70 percent of the payout, with Nokia handling the remaining amount.

Considering Elop was paid $6.2 million for his move to Nokia in the first place, it's proven to be a rather profitable round trip for the executive. He'll be leading up Microsoft's expanded devices division when the acquisition is complete, but given that there's a recently vacated CEO position at Redmond there's the possibility of even greater rewards in Elop's future.