Ford CEO Alan Mulally is seemingly out of the running

A new Reuters report said that internal candidates are likely at the front of the search for Microsoft's next CEO now that Ford's CEO claimed he has no intention of leaving the automaker this year.
The Reuters article said that Microsoft is down to a "handful" of candidates now, including Satya Nadella, Microsoft's executive vice president of the Cloud & Enterprise group; Tony Bates, executive vice president of Business Development and Evangelism at Microsoft, and Stephen Elop, former Nokia CEO.
There's still no confirmation as to which candidate is the winner, but but that answer is expected around the last week of January or sometime in February. 
Ford CEO Alan Mulally told the Associated Press earlier this week that he's staying with Ford through the end of this year, and isn't ditching in favor of Microsoft anytime in 2014. This is the first time Mulally gave a clear answer about the Microsoft topic himself. Before this, he pretty much gave vague answers like, "I love serving Ford."


Mulally was reportedly tired of being asked about Microsoft at each interview, and despite other Ford executives and spokespeople saying that Mulally was staying through the end of the year, many were waiting for a clear, public answer from Mulally himself (even though he briefly mentioned at a holiday party last month that there was no change in the plan for him to stay through 2014). 
There are a lot of reasons why Mulally was seen as a strong candidate for Microsoft's next CEO. For starters, he successfully helped Ford return to profitability after becoming CEO in 2006 when the No. 2 automaker had struggled during the late-2000s recession. It was also the only American major car manufacturer to avoid a bailout fund from the government.
Analysts were disappointed that Mulally was out of the running for Microsoft's next CEO, since he's more likely to challenge Microsoft's board and lead a turnaround rather than internal candidates. 
Current Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced in August 2013 that he planned to retire sometime over the next year. The company is currently undergoing a major restructuring plan that will unify devices like Windows Phone, PC and Xbox One.

Source: Reuters

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