back to article Oracle brass past and present tapped for Microsoft CEO - report

Two Oracle execs past and present have joined the list of top industry chiefs who’ve been approached to become the next Steve Ballmer. The software giant’s current hardware chief and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Mark Hurd has joined a a list reported by the Wall St Journal of eight Redmond outsiders approached by a Microsoft …


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  1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

    Nadella nay not have experience running a complete major tech company...but he also doesn't have experience running one into the ground, or pissing away the majority of a client base.

    Of all the candidates on offer so far, Nadella is the only one whose installation would restore trust in Microsoft for me. Server and Tools are the good guys of MS. The rest of these CEOs are either corporate pillagers, ultra-high-end niche pillagers or who have failed miserably (repeatedly,) at targeting the consumer. Nadella is the only "make the best widget for the largest number of people at a reasonable price" exec of the bunch.

    Everyone else at Microsoft seems to believe in Microsoft's manifest destiny. They espouse "metrics," but only as a means to justify decisions already made. Nadella uses metrics to guide descisions yet to be made, but also factors in actually talking to customers.

    If you aren't going to install Nadella - and with him a demonstrable commitment to growing the compay, establishing and then preserving a technological leadership - then forgo the pretense and simply hire Ichann. At least he'll make the asset stripping and milking the husk for Wall Street's pleasure quick and relatively painless.

    Whatever you do, don't put in some enterprise crony. Everyone in this business targets the enterprise almost exclusively. There's only so much room there, and Microsoft isn't well poised to win a competition for enterprise devices and services against the likes of Oracle, HP, IBM or Dell.

    Stick with the mass market. Make good software, devices and services that are easy to use and at a price that the majority of individuals and businesses are willing to pay. There is no future for Microsoft excepting that. So far, there's only one CEO I've seen who could deliver it.

    Which means, all told, we'll probably get Elop. *sigh*

    1. xperroni

      Funny business, this executiveing thing.

      If you perform to expectations (or even above them), pundits get to say you "have no experience".

      But if you screw up, you get paid to leave, and can get employed somewhere else by the end of the week using that very snafu as job reference.

      Dilbert principle, anyone?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yes, Oracle - Of Course - they have an outstanding record in taking aging products like Java, Sparc, Solaris, MySQL and completely rejuvenating them.....

      Oh, wait.......

    3. dribblespit

      Maybe he can thake the Evil out. Somehow.

  2. DJV Silver badge

    I wonder...

    Did their chair throwing abilities get tested?

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  4. tempemeaty

    Humans need not apply

    There already is someone running the company. It's name is "Metrics".

    1. hplasm

      Re: Humans need not apply

      "Imperials" - it is a US company...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm not sure that Phillips quit Oracle because of the "personal scandal", by all accounts he handled that pretty well. Phillips was supposedly pushed out to make room for Ellison's tennis buddy Hurd, after he got the boot from HP for cheating on his expenses.

  6. Roger Greenwood

    "potential outside picks"

    I am deeply ashamed to report that I read the above phrase with an "r" in it.

    My bad.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It is beginner error to announce a CEO change without a plausible succession plan. A shopping list is not, of itself, a plan. That may be part of the reason why the Ballmer bounce didn't last.

    I'm sure the board will get it together, but big shareholders (with one exeption) will be right to be increasingly twitchy until a grown-up is seen to be in charge.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bring in the Butcher

    Mark Hurd would be fantastic for the company. Imagine how much money they'd save when the blocks the sinkholes of Bing and all the other online cruft that's constantly running at heavy losses? You never know he might even start improving the share price long term

    1. Denarius Silver badge

      Re: Bring in the Butcher

      he has already knocked it back, but I agree there would be synergies. Culturally there would be a good fit. Whether any change in M$ slide to reduced relevance would occur as a consequence is another question. But will any of this matter if the USSA continues to eat itself politically ? Deck chairs and Titanic coming up?

      1. KjetilS

        Re: Bring in the Butcher

        Downvoted for using the word "synergies". No human ever uses that word.

  9. Sil

    Microsoft doesn't need no stinking Mark Turd

    1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

      Ah, but it would do wonders for FLOSS in the enterprise.

  10. PM.

    How about Leo Apotheker ?

    He would fit nicely with today's Microsoft corporate culture ...

  11. Bladeforce

    Donald Duck would be better. At least he can swim

  12. Goat Jam

    Ooooh yes.

    I have this evil plan. We will create a cultural hybrid of two of IT's most customer hostile companies!

    <evil laugh>

    Now, all we need to do is find a way to get some HP into the mix!

    Then, we will demand that governments pay us 'One Meeeeeellion Dollars!" or else we will unleash our unholy corporate IT monster into the world!

    <evil laugh>

    What could possibly go wrong?

    <evil henchexecs share uneasy glances>

  13. Euripides Pants

    "Two Oracle execs past and present have joined the list of top industry chiefs who’ve been approached to become the next Steve Ballmer."

    So they answered yes when asked if they'd like to be fat, bald and stupid?!

  14. gary27

    Doug or Kevin their only hope.

    Having been a keen observer of Microsoft for many years - running a gold erp / crm partner - I would humbly advise them to beg for Doug Burgum to return - as CEO- maybe then there would be some hope for them - but don't hold your breath. He was a truly inspirational wonderful leader of Great Plains Software - which they unfortunately (for gp partners) acquired in 2001, then promptly ruined.

    My second choice would be Kevin Turner. I remember watching a keynote from him 7 years ago- i initially thought who is this geek ? but as the speech went on i became completely mesmerised and was hanging of every word he uttered - he was incredible. He came from Walmart where he want from IT to successfully ran a huge division Sams club at a ridiculously young age.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: Doug or Kevin their only hope.

      Kevin Turner? Please. He has been one of the guiltiest offenders of using metrics to justify descisions rather than informing them. Turner has no plan to turn Microsoft around excpeting "educate the customer." That's rediculous on two levels; 1) you are telling the customer to adapt to your business model (instead of vice versa) 2) Microsoft's marketing people are terrible.

      Turner is the path to the dark side, same as Elop.

  15. druck Silver badge


    Also being considered is Nokia CEO Stephen Elop – an outsider marked to become an insider once Microsoft’s acquisition is completed.

    An outsider? He never really left did he.

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