The upcoming sale of Nokia's Devices and Services division to Microsoft resulted in Stephen Elop resigning as Nokia's CEO. A few days later, it was revealed that Elop would be getting a severance package from Nokia that will be worth $25.5 million when the deal with Microsoft is closed in the first quarter of 2014.
That large amount of money, which in some circles is called a "golden parachute" has since generated a ton of negative press for Nokia in their home country of Finland. Matters got even worse when it was revealed this week that Elop's severance contract was very different than what other former Nokia CEOs have received in the past, despite what the company's chairman Risto Siilasmaa told the press last week. Elop will return to Microsoft, where he led Office development prior to being named Nokia's chief executive, when the deal completes.
Now a new report from Finland's Helsingin Sanomat claims, via unnamed sources, that Nokia's board has been urging Elop to accept a smaller amount for his severance package in an effort to stop the growing amount of hate towards the company. The report claims that Elop has refused that request. Apparently, Elop is getting a divorce from his current wife and he has told Nokia's board his wife would not accept a reduced payout.
This new wrinkle in the Nokia-Microsoft deal shows that the sale of Nokia's smartphone division has hit its home country hard. It's been a matter of national pride in Finland that Nokia was once the leader in mobile phone sales and technology and with that part of the business now being bought by Microsoft, there's been a sense of betrayal felt by many Finland citizens toward Nokia in general, and Elop in particular.