Feeds

Microsoft admits: We WON'T pick the next Steve Ballmer this year

More than 100 candidates for CEO slot considered ... and counting

Security for virtualized datacentres

Microsoft's board of directors will need more time to choose a successor for outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer, the company said on Tuesday.

The board has been on the hunt for a new chief exec ever since Ballmer announced his plan to retire "within the next 12 months" in August, and it now looks as though the search will continue into next year.

"We're moving ahead well, and I expect we'll complete our work in the early part of 2014," board member John Thompson wrote in a post to the official Microsoft blog.

According to Thompson, the four-man special committee formed for the task first identified more than 100 possible candidates from both within the company and without. They then whittled that list down to around 20 that deserved special scrutiny, eventually bringing some before the full board. But no decision has been made yet, and the board no longer expects to name its final choice before the end of the year.

"At our shareholder meeting in November, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates provided an update on our search process," Thompson wrote. "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."

Plenty of candidates have been suggested for the role, and El Reg naturally has its own opinions on the matter. But although a few names, in particular, keep popping up, no clear frontrunner has emerged.

For a while, current Ford Motor Company CEO Alan Mulally seemed the most likely choice. But that bubble burst earlier this month when Ford board member Edsel Ford II told the press that Mulally will remain with the automaker through the end of 2014, at least.

Stephen Elop, a former Microsoft exec who is returning to the company as part of its acquisition of Nokia's handset division, is another oft-cited prospect. But given how poorly Nokia's phone business performed under Elop's tenure as CEO, Microsoft's board might be (rightfully) nervous about handing him the reins in Redmond.

Another names much speculated about include Tony Bates, a British-born Microsoft exec who previously served as president of the company's Skype division, and Satya Nadella, the executive VP now in charge of Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise group.

Whoever does get the final nod is sure to be watched closely by both Ballmer and Microsoft founder Bill Gates – the only two men ever to have held the CEO role in the company's 38-year history – both of whom plan to remain on the company's board following Ballmer's transition.

Just what Thompson means by "the early part of 2014," however, is open to speculation. But with any luck, it's possible we might see a brand-new keynote speaker at Microsoft's annual Build developer conference, which is due to kick off on April 2 in San Francisco. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Facebook pays INFINITELY MORE UK corp tax than in 2012
Thanks for the £3k, Zuck. Doh! you're IN CREDIT. Guess not
Big Content outs piracy hotbeds: São Paulo, Beijing ... TORONTO?
MPAA calls Canadians a bunch of bootlegging movie thieves
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
Protecting against web application threats using SSL
SSL encryption can protect server‐to‐server communications, client devices, cloud resources, and other endpoints in order to help prevent the risk of data loss and losing customer trust.