Microsoft board reportedly honing in on Mullaly, Nadella in CEO quest

Entrance to Microsoft Redmond Campus

Entrance to Microsoft Redmond Campus

The hunt for Microsoft’s next CEO is heating up, with Microsoft reportedly honing in on current Ford CEO Alan Mullaly and internal executive Satya Nadella as the most suitable replacements for the departing Steve Ballmer.

Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg says that while internal candidates Tony Bates and former Nokia chief Stephen Elop remain in the mix, they’re now among the candidates considered less likely to be offered the job. The insiders who spoke to the publication did however caution that the selection process is fluid and that new frontrunners could still emerge.

Neither Microsoft nor Nokia, where Elop is still officially employed, agreed to comment on the matter.

“There is no change from what we announced last November,” Jay Cooney, a spokesman at Ford said meanwhile. “Alan remains completely focused on executing our One Ford plan. We do not engage in speculation.”

One notable candidate missing from the shortlist we reported on a few weeks back, former Skype CEO turned Microsoft business development chief Tony Bates.

Microsoft has been searching for a new CEO since Steve Ballmer announced his retirement back in August. The people figuring out who will take charge of the company include John Thompson, the board’s lead independent director, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, chairman of the audit committee Chuck Noski and chairman of the compensation committee Steve Luczo.

The last time the committee met on the matter, was 18 November Bill Gates said at a shareholder meeting last week. He declined to provide any comment on how the company was progressing in its search, saying only that “it’s a complex role to fill.”

While the board is apparently aiming to name a candidate by the end of this year, people familiar with the matter said that it could be pushed back to early next year if things don’t go exactly according to plan.



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