Former Nokia boss Stephen Elop stands to receive about €18.8 million (£15.9m) in “termination payments” if the company’s shareholders agree to sell its handset business to Microsoft.
The Finnish firm said that the money would be due to Elop following his agreement to immediately stand down alongside the announcement of the deal, and that Microsoft would pay about 70 per cent of the total.
Elop is set to return to Microsoft, his former employer, after the closure of its €5.4 billion acquisition of Nokia’s handset business, which prompted some Finnish media to dub him a “Trojan horse.”
Nokia said Elop would be entitled to receive 18 months of his base salary, plus a short-term management cash incentive, equivalent to a total of around €4.2m.
He would also be in line for about €14.6m from an accelerated vesting of his outstanding equity awards.
Nokia’s shareholders will meet to decide on the proposed deal with Microsoft on 19 November.
News of Elop’s pay-off came as outgoing Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer bid an emotional farewall to Wall Street analysts on Thursday night.
Ballmer, who in August said he planned to step down within 12 months, told investors and analysts at the firm’s annual meeting in Bellevue, Washington, that Microsoft had a bright future, despite missteps under his 13-year tenure.
Ballmer took over from co-founder Bill Gates as chief executive in 2000. He acknowledged that, under his leadership, the firm was too focused on its Windows operating system to realise Apple’s iPhone was revolutionising the computing market.
He said: “You all own Microsoft stock, cheer for it, for God’s sake.”