Ford throws cold water on reports that its CEO is leaving for Microsoft

Microsoft may be trying to recruit current Ford CEO Alan Mulally to lead their company as the successor to the retiring Steve Ballmer, but Ford director Edsel Ford II says that Mulally has told the company's board that he plans to remain with the car maker for another year at least.

Bloomberg quotes Ford, who is also the great-grandson of company founder Henry Ford, as saying, "Frankly, he has told us that his plan is to stay with Ford through the end of 2014." Bloomberg also chatted with Mulally today, mostly on the topic of the new Ford Mustang. When asked if Ford's board was requesting him to renew his commitment to the company, Mulally stated, "I love serving Ford and there is no change to the plan." When asked what Microsoft should be looking for in a new CEO, Mulally completely dodged the question, saying he really wanted to talk about the new Mustang.

Mulally's name has repeatedly come up as a front-runner in Microsoft's CEO search for the past couple of months, even though Mulally has never publicly spoken about being in talks with the company for the top spot. Other unconfirmed reports suggest that Satya Nadella, the current executive vice-president of cloud and enterprise at Microsoft, could be chosen as its new CEO.

The search committee, which includes Microsoft chairman Bill Gates, reportedly wants to finish its job by the end of the year.

Source: Bloomberg | Image via Bloomberg

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Gladiatorus said,
I'd like to see Steve Wozniak as CEO. That'd be crazy.

That would indeed be crazy, because much as I admire Woz he wouldn't even have made for a good CEO at his own company.

I highly doubt this. He's past 68 already. I don't see the Microsoft board willing to make a ~70-year old the CEO. At the very least they'd want someone who will provide stability and see the One Microsoft (or suitable alternate) plan through. Matching the tenures of Gates and Ballmer would most probably be too much to expect, but 5 years at the very minimum would be a requirement IMO given the critical juncture Microsoft finds itself at. Anything less would indicate an interim CEO, which is neither good for employee morale nor conducive to getting major projects and policy decisions implemented (knowing the next guy might veto/undo it all).

I like how Ford did not take money from the government when everyone else was and how they have turned the company around. Therefore, he should stay with Ford.

BillyJack said,
I like how Ford did not take money from the government when everyone else was and how they have turned the company around. Therefore, he should stay with Ford.

The money the car makers took was a loan that they are responsible to pay back. Chrysler already has...

BillyJack said,
I like how Ford did not take money from the government when everyone else was and how they have turned the company around. Therefore, he should stay with Ford.

Many of those companies are paying back those loans with interest and it happened to pay off for the government (more or less). Ford was just fortunate to have the right leader at the right time to show that companies could be turned around simply by making changes internally without a hand out.

I remember Tim Floyd, former ISU (Iowa State University) basketball coach, vehemently denying that he would be the next coach of the Chicago Bulls...even having the university president say that Floyd would be back...and the next thing everybody knew, KCCI was interviewing Floyd, AT THE AIRPORT, running to catch a flight to...CHICAGO, where he would sign a contract to be the Bulls' new head coach. (This was several years ago, obviously, after the last three-peat in the late '90s).

Point being, as +spenser.d, says, is don't take these reports completely at face value.

Well what else are they going to say? They don't want to cause shareholder panic. If he leaves Ford, they would probably arrange some better messaging!

Geezy said,
Well what else are they going to say? They don't want to cause shareholder panic. If he leaves Ford, they would probably arrange some better messaging!

There's this, and it doesn't really rule him out anyways. They could bring him on at the start of 2015 and just have someone in the interim for a bit until then. Wouldn't be the first company to have an interim executive.

Not speculating either way but it seems silly to rule him out completely when he just says he's staying somewhere else until the end of next year.

Spicoli said,
The shareholders have a legal right to know, so you can't lie about it to avoid or encourage trading. If you do you get sued like Elon Musk.

Even if he is in talks with Microsoft, they didn't lie. He said there's no change to the plan. There wouldn't be a change to the plan until Microsoft made him an offer that he accepted... LOL

M_Lyons10 said,

Even if he is in talks with Microsoft, they didn't lie. He said there's no change to the plan. There wouldn't be a change to the plan until Microsoft made him an offer that he accepted... LOL

But now he has to wait until 2015 and I think Ballmer plans to bail before then. You can't "lawyer it" with this stuff. You have to act in good faith with no attempt to mislead.

Spicoli said,

But now he has to wait until 2015 and I think Ballmer plans to bail before then. You can't "lawyer it" with this stuff. You have to act in good faith with no attempt to mislead.


No he doesn't... The plans changed. They haven't yet, so he's being truthful.

You have to prove that they were untruthful, not some implied untruth...

scorpian007 said,
I honestly don't know who could run such a large, complex company like Microsoft

Bring back Bill Gates!

gates would be the best candidate, even as interim