elop1Stephen Elop, the former Nokia CEO who is returning to Microsoft as part of the Redmond company’s $7.2 billion acquisition of Nokia’s Devices & Services business, filed for divorce from his wife of 26 years in early August, according to records on file at King County Superior Court in Seattle.

Normally that might not qualify as news, but the proceedings are fueling a controversy in Finland over a $25 million bonus being paid to the former Nokia CEO as a result of the Microsoft acquisition. People in the country, already upset about the Microsoft acquisition, are asking why Elop deserves such a bonus for a deal that they consider a betrayal of their loyalty to the homegrown smartphone maker.

The Helsingin Sanomat newspaper reports that Nokia has asked Elop to accept a smaller payout, but he has reportedly declined, saying that he would be unable to convince his estranged wife to accept a smaller sum as part of the divorce. 

Microsoft is set to provide 70 percent of the payout, with Nokia covering the rest, according to The New York Times.

Elop is a former top Microsoft executive who maintained a home in the Seattle region after taking the Nokia job. He has been widely considered a front-runner to replace Steve Ballmer as Microsoft CEO, and that speculation only grew following the news that he would return to the company.

King County Superior Court records show that Stephen Elop petitioned for divorce on Aug. 1, saying that the marriage was “irretrievably broken.” He and his wife had been separated since October 2012, according to court papers. The divorce proceedings are still under way.

We’ve contacted the lawyer for Elop’s estranged wife to see if she wants to comment on the reports out of Finland, and Elop’s reported reasoning for declining to take a smaller bonus. A Nokia spokeswoman declined to comment on the situation.

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  • Bob

    If it’s any consolation to people in Finland, MS’s shareholders hate the deal too. But it was agreed to by Nokia’s board, not Elop, and like any other executive he’s entitled to whatever was in his contract. Under the circumstance I’m not sure why he should be expected to take less just to appease those in Finland who somehow thought Nokia could do better, which it likely couldn’t. I’m not thrilled with the “blame it on my wife’s greed” excuse, but maybe she really won’t accept less. The only think I don’t understand is why is MS picking up 70% of the cost? Is that standard in a deal like this?

  • turk182

    LOL… This company needs a hug! Sometimes you have to take things exactly like they read never minding the corporate spin or MS PR trolls.This is a classic hot mess!

  • Greenwash

    Elop racks up another ‘success’. He failed to stem Nokia’s decline and he failed to keep his marriage together. But he is getting a US$25million payout for it. Here, money can’t buy success, love or happiness (just more money).

  • APai

    the scumbag needs to be dragged to the court for running a company like nokia to ground.

  • Stas


  • True Nokia Fan

    He deserves the worst for bringing down a company like Nokia. He should have been fired long time back. I’m sure Nokia’s board has no credibility either. Its a shame. Even now the company has great potential to stand alone and win in Mobile phones. Its very easy, but they dont want to do it. I wish this elop guy all the worse in his life.

  • http://www.nevadadivorce.org/ Nevada divorce

    In the end business is business whether popular or not

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