Coming and going -- not actually working -- reaps Nokia CEO $31.7 million

Signing bonus, golden parachute add up for Stephen Elop

When the former head of Nokia returns to Microsoft sometime next year he will have pulled down $31.7 million from Nokia just for coming and going, according to regulatory filings.

When Stephen Elop left Microsoft in 2010 to join Nokia, his new employer paid him $6.2 million as compensation for legal expenses and salary lost.

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Now that Microsoft has bought Nokia and he's returning to head up its devices division he'll be collecting $25.46 million as part of a Nokia package.

His first-year salary at Nokia was $1.46 million.

According to proxy material for a special Nokia shareholders' meeting to vote on the Microsoft-Nokia deal, he is getting the money through a renegotiated service contract. The contract says he is entitled to 18 months base salary plus short-term management incentives calculated as if he's reached 100 percent of his target even if he hasn't. It also entitles him to vest his outstanding equity awards, the proxy document says.

Microsoft will actually pay 70 percent of that cost as part of the $7.2 billion deal to purchase Nokia.

Elop has a non-compete agreement with Nokia not to work for specific competitors including Microsoft, but that restriction will be lifted when he starts working there, the document says.

Elop's name has been bandied about as a possible replacement for Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer who has announced he's retiring from the company sometime in the next year.

Tim Greene covers Microsoft and unified communications for Network World and writes the Mostly Microsoft blog. Reach him at and follow him on Twitter@Tim_Greene.

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This story, "Coming and going -- not actually working -- reaps Nokia CEO $31.7 million" was originally published by Network World.

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