Microsoft Will Name a New CEO By Early 2014

Microsoft's board of directors gave a heads up on the status of their search for a new CEO, saying that the new chief won't be named until early 2014. John W. Thompson, a member of Microsoft's board of directors, reports that the company started out with over 100 possible candidates and has narrowed the list down to around 20 individuals.

"As the chair of the Board's search committee, I'm pleased with our progress," Thompson writes. "The Board has taken the thoughtful approach that our shareholders, customers, partners and employees expect and deserve. After defining our criteria, we initially cast a wide net across a number of different industries and skill sets."

"At our shareholder meeting in November, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates provided an update on our search process," he adds. "He noted that this is a complex role to fill, involving a complex business model and the ability to lead a highly technical organization and work with top technical talent."

Thompson points out that Microsoft has had only two CEOs in its 38-year history. Steve Ballmer is the most recent, who said in August that he would step down as CEO within 12 months. Speculation and rumor have pointed to Ford's Alan Mulally who has indicated that he plans to stick with the automotive company until the end of 2014. Another supposed candidate is Nokia's Stephen Elop who, according to sources, may want to sell off the Xbox and Bing departments if he sits on Microsoft's throne.

"As a Board, we are determined and confident that the company's third CEO will lead Microsoft to renewed and continued success. We're looking forward to 2014 and the opportunities and decisions that lie ahead," Thompson writes.

Just weeks ago, more than a dozen tech leaders in Silicon Valley, as well as several top execs in Microsoft, actually admitted that they want Tony Bates for the CEO job, the company's current executive vice president of Microsoft responsible for Business Development, Strategy and Evangelism. Bates is a "bold choice," one insider reportedly said.

Sources claim that his past experience at Cisco is seen as a big plus, as at the time he managed around 12,000 global workers and was responsible for more than $20 billion in revenue. He also was placed in charge of the development of a complex networking product even though he does not have a technical degree, and currently holds many patents related to the area.

Sources told Bloomberg that EBay Inc. CEO John Donahoe and former VMware Inc. CEO Paul Maritz declined to be considered. Microsoft's cloud-computing chief Satya Nadella is still on the list as is Tony Bates and Stephen Elop. Steve Mollenkopf dropped off the list when he took the role of CEO at Qualcomm back on December 12.

Microsoft is going through one of its biggest transformations in decades, seeking out a new CEO while it morphs into a devices and services company. Microsoft is also close to finalizing its acquisition of Nokia's devices and services unit.

This thread is closed for comments
    Your comment
  • vmem
    they really need to drop Elop from the list...

    if it helps them, I'm fairly confident that their stocks experience a boost from dropping Elop
  • ubercake
    I'll do it.

    Just give me a year. I'll take $100,000,000 and a guaranteed $250,000,000 as a parting gift.
  • rwinches
    How about putting the company president back in total control of the company and get the board out.
    I care about a stable and a quality product(s) with no 'take over' the desktop, internet, application, infrastructure et al. greed.
    The market is changing and MS is trying to maintain the Status Quo and the tighter the grip the quicker it slips away. They believe they can keep charging the same rates and that by pushing everything into the cloud they can maintain current margins. They were the first to 'give' away the browser with the theory that users need to be able to access the internet for it to grow. Now they need to do the same or at least similar with the OS, with the theory that their cloud offerings will be the best.
    Just remember they still are on NT only with improved drivers and a different interface.
    Mine is NT 6.2 build 9200 (win 8).
    Wow, I'm supposed to be impressed that they use databases and SQL to do installs?