Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 24th Sep 2013 11:44 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless

Finland is boiling with rage this weekend over the $25 M bonus payment the CEO Stephen Elop is set to receive as he leaves Nokia after his two-year tenure. Questions are now being raised by the oddest aspect of the bonus: the board of Nokia seems to have given Elop a $25 M incentive to sell the handset unit cheaply to Microsoft way back in in 2010. This effectively means that the board hired a man who was given a giant carrot to drive down Nokia's overall valuation and phone volumes while preparing a sale to Microsoft. What could possibly be a reason to structure Elop's original contract in this manner? Did the board in fact end up promising Elop more compensation in case he sells the phone division than if he runs it with modest success?

Vindication. We were right all along.

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So the real questions are:

1) Would the outcome have been better or worse for Nokia if they had not signed on with Microsoft?
2) Do we think this is a good outcome for Nokia, overall, and how much responsibility do we think Elop has for it?
3) Would someone have been able to stabilise and grow Nokia better than Elop did using a different strategy?

So personally, I think Nokia are in a better position than they would have been if they hadn't signed up with Microsoft, but at the same time I don't believe a sale to Microsoft is a good result: in reality it's been quite a sad end.

Could someone have done a better job than Elop? Now that's a key question, and I'm honestly not sure about the answer to that.

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