Nokia Chief Suri to Receive Salary Smaller Than Predecessor Elop

Rajeev Suri, Nokia Oyj’s new chief executive officer who takes over after the wireless-technology provider sold its phone unit to Microsoft Corp., is set to receive a salary smaller than his predecessor Stephen Elop did.

Suri, an almost 20-year veteran at Nokia, will get a base salary of 1 million euros ($1.4 million) a year, the Espoo, Finland-based company said today in a filing. His cash-incentive target is 1.25 million euros. Elop received a salary of 1.1 million euros as part of his 2013 compensation valued at 9.66 million. He also got a severance payment of 24.2 million euros.

Suri, 46, has headed Nokia’s networks business for the past four years, focusing on more lucrative deals and cutting jobs to boost earnings. He starts as CEO tomorrow. Elop stepped down as CEO in September, when Microsoft agreed to buy Nokia’s handset division. He rejoined Microsoft as part of the deal.

Nokia has three businesses left after the phone-unit sale: the networks division, which made up 71 percent of Nokia’s adjusted operating profit in the first quarter, its maps business, and the unit responsible for licensing its patents. By choosing Suri, it’s intensifying its focus on wireless-network equipment as it starts fresh without the phones that made it famous.

Elop failed to revive Nokia’s sales, and his bet on phones running Microsoft software accelerated Nokia’s market-share decline and resulted in more than 5 billion euros in losses over nine quarters. Nokia shares lost about half their value during his three-year tenure. The sale to Microsoft was completed last week.

Microsoft paid 70 percent of Elop’s severance payment, and Nokia 30 percent, according to the filing.

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