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Microsoft's Rumored CEO Candidate Short List

According to a Reuters report, Microsoft has reportedly narrowed its shortlist to at least three internal candidates and five external candidates.

Among those still in the running to replace Ballmer are Ford CEO Alan Mulally, former Nokia Chief Stephen Elop and two internal candidates -- Satya Nadella, executive VP for the Cloud and Enterprise Group and Tony Bates, the former CEO of Skype who is now executive VP for the Business Development and Evangelism group. The remaining candidates weren't noted, though the report pointed to Computer Sciences Corp. CEO Mike Lawrie as one on Wall Street's desired list.

The search could still take several months, according to the Reuters report, which cited unidentified sources familiar with the matter. Short of luring back Microsoft exec Paul Maritz, who ran VMware before settling into his current role as CEO of spinoff Pivotal, Nomura Securities Analyst Rick Sherlund today said he believes it will be Mulally and thinks he will be named next month. Mulally's name as a preferred candidate surfaced in late September.

Sherlund believes Ballmer will make a quick exit and the company will purchase back his shares, valued at $12 billion. Sherlund said Ballmer will opt to exit the board because he "doesn't want to be second-guessed."

To compensate for Mulally's lack of experience running a tech company, Sherlund believes founder and Chairman Bill Gates will contribute in terms of directing product strategy. "Bill Gates is going to have to roll up his sleeves to compliment Mulally," Sherlund told CNBC's Jim Kramer.

A new CEO would be wise to sell or spin off Microsoft's Bing and Xbox businesses, which are huge drains on profits, Sherlund said. Added Kramer, the new CEO will have to "blow the company up."

I'm still in the camp that Gates isn't going to come back even in the roll Sherlund is predicting. As for speculation that Ballmer may walk away from the board and cash out his shares, that's his choice and I don't see it having a major impact on Microsoft's future direction either way. Despite the latest buzz, there are still many balls in the air. But I do get the sense that the news is going to come sooner than later.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 11/06/2013 at 2:26 PM

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Reader Comments:

Sun, Feb 2, 2014

Hehe, c'est vrai que Free Mobile manque un peu de pnniessiooralfsme. Pouvoir changer de forfait est quand meame une fonctionnalite9 de base qu'ils auraient pu pre9voir. Mais malgre9 les contraintes bien pourries lie9es e0 l'organisation de Free et l'agacement des clients (en l’occurrence moi), j'ai trouve9 que les hotliners se de9fendaient plutf4t pas mal (pour la plupart) et parvenaient e0 rester courtois et garder leur sang froid Au passage, je viens de m'apercevoir que notre nume9ro RIO est disponible e0 cote9 du nume9ro de te9le9phone dans l'espace abonne9 -> Mes commandes -> Commandes de SIM. Et comme l'abonnement Free Mobile n'est soumis e0 aucun engagement, il est super simple de changer d'ope9rateur.C'est vrai que ces de9sagre9ment cumule9s avec les fre9quentes indisponibilite9s de re9seau le soir en semaine n'incitent pas vraiment e0 rester chez Free Mobile. De8s que j'ai un peu de temps, je vais commencer regarder en de9tail les offres concurrentes. [url=]waopoygr[/url] [link=]vlqlmuec[/link]

Sun, Jan 19, 2014

Et beh je vois que je ne suis pas le seul dans ce cas le0.. J'ai le meame proble8me que toi, sauf que moi, j'ai fait l'erreur de choisir le http://b DOT e0 0€. Puis apre8s avoir remarque9 mon erreur, le lendemain, j'ai appele9 Free Mobile pour leur dire que finalement je voulais avoir le http://b DOT e0 15€99 et ils m'ont dit que je pourrai le faire migrer une fois que je recevrais ma puce. Ma puce arrive9e 2 mois apre8s, quelque chose que j'ai beaucoup appre9cie9 , j'ai rappele9 pour leur demander de me changer de http://b DOT et ils re9pondu exactement la meame chose qu'e0 toi.Mis e0 part qu'e0 moi, j'ai parle9 e0 personnes diffe9rentes de Free Mobile, l'un me disait que l'option migration n'arriverait jamais, l'autre me disait qu'elle arriverait mais qu'il ne savait pas quand et la dernie8re personne me disait qu'elle arriverait fin mars.Nous sommes le 9 avril, j'attends toujours L'assistance de Free Mobile est franchement mauvaise, e0 revoir. Aucun se9rieux.Je regrette d'y eatre passe9.

Sat, Jan 18, 2014

Lots of very basic problems with this: MVNOs are coutnry-specific: Microsoft needs Windows 8 to work everywhere. Is MSFT going to launch them in 20-30 markets? All with very different operating dynamics? And can it wait the 2-3-4 years that that would take? Launch an MVNO' is about as easy as build an ecosystem', as Helio and Amp'd showed. You need massive investment in distribution, marketing and customer support, as well as expertise in pricing and, well, the knowledge of how actually to run such a business. And then you need to do it from scratch, coutnry by coutnry. People choose their network first, then the phone. The evolution of the iPhone in the US makes that pretty clear: AT&T iPhone sales didn't fall at all when VZW started selling it. An MVNO with only one phone would need to change consumer behaviour radically: choose the phone first, then look for a network. If your thesis is that WP isn't being marketed enough, why do you need to be selling the SIM card to do that? WHy invest cash n creating an MVNO why not just spend that cash on marketing the platform directly? The existing operators will always have far more stores than a new MVNO: better to get them to sell the product. And so on, and so on. Essentially, this is like arguing that Boeing should create its own airline to boost 787 sales. You invest massively in a very risky proposition that wouldn't really solve the problem anyway. (Disclosure: I worked on international MVNO strategy for a mobile operator)

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