Mulally, Elop make it to Microsoft’s would-be CEO list

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In an attempt to find the best successor for Microsoft’s outgoing Chief Executive Steve Ballmer, the company has narrowed down the list to about five people including Alan Mulally, Ford Motor Co chief and Stephen Elop, former Nokia CEO, reported sources familiar with the matter.

Microsoft has also shortlisted three internal candidates including Tony Bates, Skype CEO and Microsoft’s business development initiator and also Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s cloud and enterprise chief, sources reported notes Reuters.

According to those familiar with the matter, the company, which started off with around 40 names, will take a few more months to finalize the candidate. Ballmer, Microsoft’s current CEO, announced his plans to retire within 12 months last August.

Though names of other prospective candidates are not yet out, it is being reported that executives from a wide range of sectors, including even life sciences and consumer are being interviewed by the search committee.
Microsoft declined to comment about the selection process or on behalf of the internal candidates and a Nokia representative could not be reached for comment either.

Jay Cooney, Ford spokesman said “There is no change from what we announced last November. Alan remains fully focused on continuing to make progress on our One Ford plan. We do not engage in speculation.”

Microsoft’s investors are pressuring the company’s board in recent months to opt for a turnaround expert, such as Mulally or Mike Lawrie, Computer Sciences Corp CEO, to succeed Ballmer. Some investors are also of the view that Bill Gates should step down from the chairman post as he is restraining Microsoft from major radical reform.

Microsoft board has recommended re-election of Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer for board positions and it was also reported earlier that the new CEO will be selected by end of 2013.