Acquired Hands: Nokia's Elop, Skype's Bates Top Contenders for Microsoft CEO
October 10, 2013 5:39 PM
comment(s) - last by
Decision is to come by the end of 2013, according to sources
In late August, faced with the
worst sales drop on PC history
triggered in part due to the
?) Windows 8, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer
yielded to critics
, agreeing to
step down "within a year"
. Now it appears that Microsoft's employees and partners may not have to wait that long to find out the face of that leadership change.
, which cites unnamed sources close to Microsoft's board, the selection committee -- which includes top shareholder, company cofounder, former CEO, and
embattled current chairman Bill Gates
-- is moving aggressively to screen candidates and complete the selection process by the end of 2013.
Mr. Gates is reportedly tapping Charles Giancarlo, a managing director at Silver Lake -- a private-equity firm (the less liquid sibling of the hedge fund) -- to help with selection process. Mr. Gates has close ties to Silver Lake, as
one of their former top investors
. Mr. Giancarlo was a former chief executive at Cisco Systems Inc. (
), helping to steer its growth.
This will only be Microsoft third CEO; the previous two were Steve Ballmer and the original founder and CEO Bill Gates.
Candidates for the CEO spot reportedly include:
Ford CEO Alan Mulally
Current Ford Motor Comp. (
[Image Source: Reuters]
Current Microsoft Devices EVP
Former Skype CEO
Current Microsoft Business Development & Evangelism EVP
Former Microsoft Platforms Strategy and Developer Group EVP
The #3 spot at Microsoft in the 90s
Former VMWare, Inc. (
Current GoPivotal CEO
A cloud computer venture backed by VMWare and EMC Corp. (
Current eBay, Inc. (
's sources indicated that Microsoft's selection panel only wants to reach a conclusive decision by the year's end. It may still take longer for the new CEO to arrive, depending on whom they pick.
If Microsoft picks Mr. Donahoe or Mr. Mulally, it will have to work with their current employer to negotiate when the pick will leave their current company. A Ford spokesman commented, "Alan continues to focus on executing the One Ford plan, and we don’t engage in speculation."
Microsoft refused to comment on the
Microsoft's new CEO must fix Windows 8 -- or its image, at least. [Image Source: WindowsForum.eu]
Whoever does become CEO of Microsoft has their work cut out for them. They must continue the
executive leadership team revamp
, they must restore the reputation of Windows
and future upgrades; they must
drive the Xbox One
to beat a tough competitor, the Sony Corp. (
; they must guide
Microsoft Office's transition to being a cloud service
; they must find a way to turn around
the struggling Surface
Windows on ARM efforts
; and they must find a way to integrate the
recently acquired Nokia device division
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: Come on board members!
10/11/2013 12:35:00 AM
I'd go with Elop. The guy is obviously not afraid to break some taboos. Microsoft doesn't need to do something so drastic as getting out of their traditional line of business, of course. Still, it really has to get out of this mindset that everything they do must be Windows-related. Words are already going around that Microsoft executives want to massively trim Nokia's product line. The deal hasn't even closed yet and they're talking about gutting what they just bought. It's going be aQuantive all over again unless someone get in there and stop the stupid.
RE: Come on board members!
10/11/2013 7:59:19 AM
Windows Phone is a loser though. The only money MS has ever made in the mobile space has been from patents I.E extorting royalty fees from Android handset makers.
Why struggle making products when you can make billions patent trolling AND hurt your competition in the process?
RE: Come on board members!
10/11/2013 11:43:14 AM
In case of Nokia, getting out of the hardware business is the right thing without a doubt. While its patent portfolio generates over half a billion of steady income, the hardware division bleeds it all away. Making phones also means exposure to countersuits in patent litigation. For these reasons, the market was effectively valuing Nokia's hardware business at somewhere around negative one billion dollar. Not taking the money and run would be insane.
Microsoft, on the other hand, can afford to let mobile serve as a loss leader for their other lines of business.
"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA
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