Feeds

Microsoft not good enough for you, eh? 'Next Steve Ballmer' drives to Google

Car-maker's CEO joins internet ads company early

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

His name was bandied about during the race to replace Steve Ballmer, but it looks like Microsoft missed out on former Ford Motor Company chief Alan Mulally. The man has just announced his intention to join Google's ranks.

Mulally has joined the Google board fresh from a premature departure from his job running the world’s fifth-largest car firm.

The Ford CEO stepped down earlier than expected to make way for successor Mark Fields. Before then, he’d been expected to see out his position until the end of 2014 – and as such had ruled himself out of contention as the next Steve Ballmer at Microsoft. The Microsoft CEO's job ended up going to Redmond insider Satya Nadella.

Google and Microsoft are reported to have been the only two companies Mulally said he’d wanted to lead after Ford. Google's CEO Larry Page is reported to have favoured Mulally, and the pair had been talking for months.

In a canned statement, Mulally said he was “honored” to serve on the board of a “global iconic company that is dedicated to enhancing our lives”. Page returned serve, saying Mulally brought a "wealth of proven business and technology leadership experience".

His appointment comes after Google unveiled its latest prototype driverless car, a move which ruffled feathers in the car industry.

Google getting involved in car making is likely as popular in Detroit as the Chocolate Factory’s decision among handset makers to buy Nokia’s phone business – or indeed, Motorola's (before it sold the biz to Lenovo)... which is to say, not.

General Motors said the Google car could become a “serious competitive threat” to the car industry.

GM, Mercedes, Volvo and Mulally’s former employer have also been developing their own autonomous vehicles.

Ford unveiled a prototype, the Automated Fusion Hybrid Research Vehicle, in 2013.

Google’s plan is for its driverless cars to hit the road between 2017 and 2020.

Having Mulally on board could either be seen as an attempt by Google to build bridges with car makers or to keep tabs on the auto camp.

At a more prosaic level, Mulally’s appointment helps refresh a board that added its last new member in 2012 – Diane Green, co-founder and former CEO of VMware. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
10 Top Tips For PRs Considering Whether To Phone The Register
You'll Read These And LOL Even Though They're Serious
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
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?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.