Trade Resources Industry Views Microsoft Has Drawn up a Shortlist of Five People to Replace Steve Ballmer as CEO

Microsoft Has Drawn up a Shortlist of Five People to Replace Steve Ballmer as CEO

Software giant Microsoft has drawn up a shortlist of five people to replace Steve Ballmer as CEO of Microsoft - and the shortlist includes former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop and Ford Motor Company's highly rated CEO Alan Mulally, according to newswire Reuters.

Internal candidates include former Skype CEO Tony Bates and Satya Nadella, the company's cloud and enterprise software head.

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According to Reuters, Microsoft started with a "long list" of 40 names and, despite whittling down that number to just five, the process could take several months more.

"Investors have pushed Microsoft's board in recent months to look for a turnaround expert, such as Mulally or Computer Sciences Corp CEO Mike Lawrie, to succeed Ballmer. Some investors have also suggested to the board that co-founder Bill Gates should step down from his role as chairman, saying he stands in the way of radical reform at Microsoft," claimed Reuters.

While Microsoft remains highly profitable, it has missed a number of key technology shifts, including the rise of smartphones and tablet computers - despite having its own smartphone operating system since the early 2000s and demonstrating the tablet computer concept in 2002.

Furthermore, core company lines are threatened by both cloud computing and open source software, which provide an ever-present threat to its most profitable operating systems and office software lines.

According to Reuters, some investors fear that with both Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer remaining on the board of the company, they will continue to bind it to the same device-centric strategies that Ballmer has pursued for the past 14 years. Gates, meanwhile, despite being urged to return by some people, has no plans to come back as CEO.

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Microsoft: Stephen Elop and Ford CEO Alan Mulally Line up to Replace Ballmer