back to article Report says Microsoft has divided CEO list into possibles and probables

Microsoft's search for a CEO has reportedly whittled down its list of candidates to just two, says Bloomberg. The usual “people familiar with the matter” say that formed Nokia CEO Stephen Elop is on the possibles list, alongside former Skype CEO Tony Bates. On the probables is Ford CEO Alan Mulally and Microsoft's cloudy …


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  1. xperroni

    For want of a proofreader

    Should he get the chance to replace Steve Ballmer's butt groove with his own, it could be taken as a sign that he'll focus on cementing Microsoft as an enterprise powerhouse and perhaps make the enterprise and online businesses someone else's problem.

    Surely you mean "make the consumer and online businesses someone else's problem", right?

    Then again, perhaps the way to make Microsoft's tech more loved in the enterprise is to give it away to someone else, who might then develop it in ways more to the liking of customers...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft needs Elop this way he can take the reigns and write a burning platform memo. Windows 8.x has been a failure, WP as well, Surface RT even more so.

    1. Trixr

      Are you in fact serious?

      What "successes" did Elop achieve at Nokia? He (deliberately?) nearly ran it into the ground before the miracle Microsoft buyout.

      1. fandom

        You could say that he ran it into the ground in a way that forced Microsoft to buy it

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        The same successes he has had at other jobs. Let's take a look:

        Lotus Software; they were bought by IBM.

        Boston Chicken; they filed for bankruptcy.

        Then he joined Macromedia; they were bought by Adobe.

        Then he went to Juniper for a year.

        He then joined Microsoft.

        Finally Nokia.

        So, out of these six "jobs" three were acquired and one filed for bankruptcy. Not a very good leader when two-thirds were either bought or filed bankruptcy. What kind of leadership is that? So, the question is, if he becomes CEO of Microsoft, will they file bankruptcy or will they be acquired?

      3. swschrad

        Elop has fine credentials

        he was sent as a missionnary to Nokia to spread the smallpox blankets among the savages, plunder the treasures for the Softies, and leave shiny baubles and firewater. later, of course, he brought the natives under control and came home to great applause again.

        another merger conquered. perfect Microsoft leader credentials.

      4. Oninoshiko

        What "successes" did Elop achieve at Nokia? He (deliberately?) nearly ran it into the ground before the miracle Microsoft buyout.

        Well if the objective was to drive Nokia into the ground, then that would, by definition, be a success.

  3. Charles Manning

    MS don't need a software guy

    They need a business guy. Someone who understands concepts like customers, competition etc.

    A perspective from outside the software industry is refreshing. It helps for asking those fundamental questions about the business. MS has lost its way and it needs someone that can ask the big questions and not just roll out a bunch of buzzwords.

  4. Bootman

    I always think Elop's surname looks like it is written backwards. Much like that of the former BBC boss Yentob.

  5. Decade

    No! Elop for MS CEO!

    Elop's specialty is destroying a business so it can be acquired by somebody else. If any company deserves that fate, it's Microsoft.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: No! Elop for MS CEO!

      You don't know what you're asking for, imagine if you would Oracle Windows 9...

      1. DrStrangeLug

        Thank you

        I just threw up a little in my mouth.

  6. Khaptain Silver badge

    No TIFKAM bosses please

    As long as the future CEO agrees to take away that , or at least give us a choice, damned TIFKAM interface he would get my vote ( If I had one that is).

  7. John P

    Both Nadella and Mulally have their plus points, Nadella has pointed Windows Server and Azure in a good direction. As Charles Manning said, Mulally can offer non-MS, non-IT business perspective which could also be invaluable.

    I don't really care who it is as long as it's not Elop, he should join Apotheker in the list of people who shouldn't be left in charge of a sweet shop, let alone a multi-billion pound business.

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Is Mulally the one who brought in the flustercluck top-down management system at Boeing where the people who actually know how to do things are ignored in favour of the MBAs?

  8. NoneSuch Silver badge

    You don't want a software CEO, you want a businessman.

    When Jobs asked John Scully to be Apple CEO he was with Pepsi.

    Get rid of Elop. If you want MS to be more than a cloud company get rid of Satya Nadella as well. Nothing against the guy, but is having him run the division he is qualified for a bad idea?

    Ford CEO Alan Mulally is my choice. He can run the business and hopefully get it focused away from Surface tabs and phones.

  9. Mark Simon

    More than one probable?

    I don’t know much about how CEO short lists work, but I should have thought that to be on the probable list, one would have a better than 50% chance of success.

    How can you have more than one probable?

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