Nokia shareholders today reportedly voted to approve the company’s sale of its phones unit to Microsoft.
“At an extraordinary general meeting in Helsinki, the chairman of the meeting said 99.7 per cent of investors to have voted before the meeting had approved the transaction,” the Financial Times reports. “Those investors held four-fifths of the shares registered for the meeting.”
Microsoft announced the acquisition plans back in September. Part of that was that Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, a former Microsoft employee, would step aside to become Nokia Executive Vice President of Devices & Services under Microsoft. His name has commonly been tossed around as a potential replacement for Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who is stepping down.
Ballmer gave his final shareholder speech today, in which he noted that Xbox and Bing are key components of the company, amid rumors that Elop would look to get rid of them if he becomes CEO.
Ford CEO Alan Mulally’s name has also been tossed around as Ballmer’s replacement, and Kara Swisher is reporting that he is the “inside bet at Microsoft”.
The Nokia sale, which includes 3.79 billion Euros ($5 billion) for th devices and services business and 1.65 billion Euros ($2.18 billion) for patents patents (a total of 5.44 billion Euros or $7.17 billion) is expected to close early next year.