Business

Nokia chairman admits mistake in Elop pay-off description

Stephen Elop
Image caption Mr Elop's massive pay-off has sparked angry reactions in Finland

Nokia's chairman, Risto Siilasmaa, has admitted that he accidently gave misleading information about former chief executive Stephen Elop's pay-off.

Mr Elop's $25.4m (£16m) pay-off, which he will get when Microsoft's deal to buy Nokia's handset business goes through, had sparked angry reactions.

Mr Siilasmaa had tried to calm things by saying that Mr Elop's contract terms were similar to his predecessors.

On Tuesday, he told Finland's Helsingin Sanomat newspaper that he was wrong.

"This is a very unfortunate thing about the case, which, moreover, raises a lot of emotions," Mr Siilasmaa said, according to the report in the Finnish paper.

Pay-off deal

When the deal with Microsoft was signed on 3 September, Mr Elop agreed to step down as Nokia chief executive and take a new job at Microsoft when the deal is completed.

Nokia said that due to that change he was entitled to 18 months of his salary and what Nokia described as a "management short term cash incentive" which combined are worth $5.7m.

He is also entitled to share awards worth $19.7m.

The massive amount had sparked angry reactions in Finland, including one from the economy minister, Jan Vapaavuori, who reportedly said: "I find it difficult to understand the merits of this bonus."

Mr Elop moved from Microsoft to run Nokia in September 2010, and will return to his former employer when the deal is completed.

Microsoft agreed a deal to buy Nokia's mobile phone business for $7.2bn earlier this month.

Nokia shareholders are due to vote on the deal on 19 November.

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