Nokia's Elop set for big payday thanks to Microsoft deal

Elop, seen as a potential successor to departing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, is set to get roughly $25.5 million in compensation following the close of the deal.

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Roger Cheng
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Stephen Elop and Nokia Lumia 1020
Stephen Elop and Nokia Lumia 1020 at Nokia's July event. Sarah Tew/CNET

Stephen Elop has hit the jackpot after shepherding the Microsoft-Nokia deal.

Elop is set to receive 18.8 million euros in compensation ($25.5 million) after Nokia shareholders approve the deal and Microsoft completes its takeover of Nokia's devices and services business. The compensation is made up of his base salary of 4.1 million euros, benefits worth 100,000 euros, and stock awards of 14.6 million euros.

Microsoft will bear 70 percent of the compensation, while Nokia will pay the rest. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter. The disclosure was made in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) first reported on the payout.

Earlier this month, Microsoft agreed to buy Nokia's key division in a deal worth $7.2 billion, changing the landscape of the Windows Phone world. With Nokia in house, Microsoft will simultaneously compete with its partners, which pay a licensing fee to use Windows Phone.

That's a tough situation for other vendors such as Samsung Electronics and HTC, which have committed to Windows Phone, but have seen a bulk of their sales come from Android. Prior to the deal, Nokia already had a vast majority of the market share of Windows Phone sales.

As part of the deal, Elop stepped down as CEO of Nokia and moved over to the position of executive vice president of devices and sales until he gets absorbed into Microsoft. With Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer departing, Elop is seen as a potential successor.

In 2010, Elop left his role as president of the Microsoft business division to become chief executive at Nokia. Since taking over Nokia, Elop's tenure has been mixed. His time was marked by a dramatic shift toward Windows Phone and several successive waves of big layoffs. While he never truly turned the business around, he positioned it for the takeover by Microsoft.

Once the pride of Finland, Nokia will remain with only the network equipment and labs businesses.