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Stephen Elop's Nokia contract reportedly rewarded him for Microsoft buyout

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Finland is upset over changes found in Elop's contract

Stephen Elop and his phones
Stephen Elop and his phones

Helsingin Sanomat, one of Finland's largest newspapers, is reporting that Nokia falsely claimed CEO Stephen Elop's contract was the same as his predecessor's. To the contrary, the report found that the contract was changed so Elop would receive an accelerated payout if the company went through a "change of control," exactly what happened when Microsoft acquired Nokia's handset division.

Nokia had falsely claimed Elop's contract was unchanged

While Nokia at first claimed that there had been "no essential changes" to the terms of the CEO contract, the company's legal department admitted this morning that this was false, blaming the oversight on "a working place accident." According to a report at Forbes, the new language in Elop's contract increased his compensation if the stock price fell sharply, then rose, a series of events that played out during his tenure.

The fact that Elop was rewarded for selling Nokia to Microsoft — his former employer — has generated "considerable disquiet" in Finland, led by prime minister Jyrki Katainen and finance minister Jutta Urpilainen. Another report from Finnish state media found that Elop's contract was amended the same day the Microsoft deal was completed. The change in terms allowed Elop to work for Microsoft and accelerated the payout of his benefit package.