“Nokia shareholders have approved a deal allowing Microsoft to purchase the Finnish smartphone maker’s Devices and Services unit,” Tom Warren reports for The Verge. “Of the shareholders surveyed, 99.7 percent who participated in the vote agreed with the Microsoft sale, representing around four-fifths of Nokia’s shares, according to the Financial Times.”

“Some shareholders were understandably upset over the sale of a Finnish national icon, but that hasn’t stopped the majority from approving a deal worth around $7.2 billion,” Warren reports. “The acquisition will see former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop return to Microsoft early next year to run an expanded devices and services team at the software giant.”

“All eyes now turn to Stephen Elop. The former Nokia CEO is reportedly part of the future Microsoft CEO shortlist, alongside Ford CEO Alan Mulally, Microsoft cloud boss Satya Nadella, and former Skype president Tony Bates,” Warren reports. “While recent reports suggest Elop is open to selling Microsoft’s Xbox business and killing off Bing, current CEO Steve Ballmer is putting in place a structure and changes that could be difficult for Elop or any successor to undo immediately.

Stephen Elop and Steve Ballmer

Stephen Elop (left) and Steve Ballmer

Warren reports, “Elop is rejoining Microsoft either way, but the next few months will reveal more about his exact role at the software maker.”

Read more in the full article here.