The topic of CEO compensation is a thorny one around the world, but it's of most pressing interest in Finland right now, where an entire nation is reeling from the loss of its most iconic business. Many in the country, including its prime minister, find it unconscionable that Stephen Elop — the Canadian boss who led Nokia right up until the sale of its phone division to Microsoft earlier this month — is receiving a final payout of $25 million for his efforts. The sale in itself, rightly or wrongly, is perceived as a betrayal by Elop, so the lump sum payment he's now entitled to feels like adding insult to injury.
Cognizant of that precarious situation, Nokia has apparently urged its outgoing CEO to accept a reduced compensation package and thereby mollify the unhappy Finns. That's the latest word from Helsingin Sanomat, the same paper that yesterday identified specific incentives in Elop's contract for selling off Nokia's handset business. The reason we haven't, and likely won't, see Stephen Elop making that gesture of goodwill is cited as being an issue with his upcoming divorce — Elop's reasoning, according to Helsingin Sanomat, is that he wouldn't be able to convince his wife to take a smaller settlement if he accepts less than the full $25 million from Nokia.