Latest Microsoft CEO rumor: Alan Mulally may not be the front runner anymore

Ford CEO Alan Mulally has been at or near the top of the candidate pool to take over as Microsoft's next CEO for the past few months, but a new report now claims that his front runner position might be in jeopardy, thanks in part to some public remarks that were made last week by Ford director Edsel Ford II.

When asked in a TV interview about the status of Mulally as CEO of Ford, Edsel Ford II replied, "Frankly, he has told us that his plan is to stay with Ford through the end of 2014." That statement, combined with Mulally's own non-denial comments, sent Microsoft stock down on Friday. Now a new report from AllThingD, citing unnamed sources in Microsoft, claims that those quotes made it look like Mulally was playing both sides of the fence and that apparently didn't please Microsoft's directors.

In addition, the report claims that there is also some question as to how long Mulally would stay at Microsoft if he got the CEO job. Finally, there's reportedly a new feeling that any new CEO for the company should have some technology experience behind him.

So who might that person be? AllThingsD states that there is one person who has not been named publicly yet but could be in the running as a dark horse candidate. The article quotes the unnamed source as saying he (yes, it's a male) is "in tech, someone folks are excited about, but not a done deal.". The article's writer offers up the idea that the candidate could be VMWare CEO Patrick Gelsinger, but that's pure speculation.

Source: AllThingsD | Image via Ford

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What's Jon Rubenstein doing these days? Always quite liked him at Palm - even if that wasn't exactly the biggest ever success story.

Well obviously. A car and plane CEO can't possibly lead MSFT. He may be good at his niche but it is like expecting a plumber to do your electrical wiring. Both skills share some tasks but they can't replace each other.

It's not like the CEO needs to write software. The management aspects are almost identical. What he really brings to the game for MSFT is breaking down all the departmental walls that have developed over the decades.

it should be someone like Elon Musk.

He is a guy with broad visions AND the ability to deliver more than most others.

I still think ELOP is a top contender for the position. He lead the Office Team which is the bread and butter for Microsoft. He has CEO experience at Nokia. He is a tech guy and speaks well. His experience in the Mobile sector is incredibly important for MS to grow their segment of new business. He likes rapid development.

Yes, he probably rubbed people the wrong way with his comments about Bing and Xbox. But it should not put him out of contention. He doesn't have the final say so on those big changes anyways.

I am voting ELOP

Mister Chief said,
No, he is not. Satya Nadella will be the next CEO.

sadly yes. He's great but he is no gates, or regarded highly by wall street. But maybe he's the least bad choice...

I've heard Alan Mulally is ready to retire. Not just from Ford... but for good.

At his age... I can't imagine him taking on the monumental task of cleaning up Microsoft... even for a couple years.

He looks great for 68 though

Why the eff do you guys keep writing about this guy?! It's been said over and over he's not the next CEO! He said it himself!

Everyone knows it's going to be Oprah Winfrey. I don't know why everyone is trying to throw out other names just to make news.