Rumor: Ford CEO Alan Mulally the current leading candidate for Microsoft's next CEO

Microsoft's quest to find a new CEO to replace the retiring Steve Ballmer has reportedly narrowed its search, and the leading candidate is one that recently denied he was in the running for the top job. AllThingsD.com reports, via unnamed sources, that current Ford CEO Alan Mulally is now the front runner for Microsoft's next CEO.

Mulally was quoted a few weeks ago as saying he planned to stay on as CEO of Ford until at least the end of 2014. However, today's report claims that he has become more open to the idea of taking over Microsoft. While there have been no formal contract talks between Mulally and Microsoft, the report claims discussions between the two parties are said to be "serious".

Mulally has been a close friend and contact to Ballmer over the years and reportedly offered advice while the company was creating its big "One Microsoft" reorganization plan that was announced earlier this summer. Mulally was previously CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes in Seattle and today's report says he has wanted to return to that part of the country for a while. In fact he still has a home in the area.

The same story also says that Microsoft executive Tony Bates, the former CEO of Skype, is also still in the running for the top job at Microsoft.

Source: AllThingsD.com | Image via Ford

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There's some good argument for him. Microsoft sorely needs someone that will bust up the turf culture and get all these different departments working together. That was okay in the past but now people want more integration between platforms. He did this at Ford and is an outsider so wouldn't have as much problem busting heads if needed. .

I told all of you guys previous that Microsoft is the Ford of the computer industry while


Apple is the luxury line aka

A


► Adler‎ (1 C, 1 P)


► Alfa Romeo‎ (5 C, 28 P)


► Aston Martin‎ (1 C, 23 P)


► Audi‎ (10 C, 55 P)

B


► Bentley‎ (3 C, 12 P)


► Bizzarrini‎ (1 C, 2 P)


► BMW‎ (6 C, 74 P, 7 F)


► Bugatti‎ (4 C, 26 P)

C


► Cadillac‎ (2 C, 9 P)

► Chrysler

D


► Daimler‎ (2 C, 4 P) <-that is Mercedes Benz for you Microsoft people


► De Tomaso‎ (1 C, 2 P)



D cont.


► Duesenberg‎ (1 C, 2 P)

F


► Ferrari‎ (4 C, 29 P)

H


► Hispano-Suiza‎ (2 C, 1 P)


► Horch‎ (3 P)

I


► Iso Rivolta‎ (1 C, 2 P)


► Isotta Fraschini‎ (2 C, 1 P)

J


► Jaguar‎ (3 C, 12 P)


► Japanese luxury motor vehicle marques‎ (3 C, 3 P)

L


► Lamborghini‎ (4 C, 13 P)


► Lancia‎ (2 C, 15 P)


► Lincoln (automobile)‎ (2 C, 4 P)



M


► Maserati‎ (2 C, 15 P)


► Maybach‎ (3 C, 7 P)


► Mercedes-Benz‎ (5 C, 40 P)

P


► Packard‎ (2 C, 22 P)


► Pagani‎ (1 C, 3 P)


► Porsche‎ (4 C, 25 P)

R


► Rolls-Royce‎ (6 C, 32 P)

S


► Spyker‎ (2 C, 14 P)

T


► Tesla Motors‎ (2 C, 4 P)

V


► Volvo Cars‎ (3 C, 18 P)

Here is an expanded list for you al

Apple is the luxury line aka

A
AC Cars
Alfa Romeo
Alvis Car and Engineering Company Ltd
American Locomotive Company
American Napier (automobile)
Aston Martin
Auburn Automobile
Audi

B
Bentley
Biddle Motor Car Company
Bitter Cars
BMW
Brewster & Co.
Bristol Cars
Bufori
Bugatti
Bugatti Automobiles

C
Cadillac
Chaika (car)
Chrysler
Chrysler (division)
Citroën
Cole Motor Car Company
Continental Automobile Manufacturing Company
Cord Automobile
Crane-Simplex
Cunningham automobile

D
Daimler Company
Daniels Motor Company
Delage
Doble steam car
Du Pont Motors

F
Fisker Automotive
Fisker Coachbuild

G
Geronimo Motor Company

H
Heine-Velox
Hispano-Suiza
Hongqi (marque)

I
Iso Rivolta
Isotta Fraschini

J
Jaguar Cars
Jordan Motor Car Company

K
Knox Automobile Company

L
LaFayette Motors
Lagonda
Land Rover
LaSalle (automobile)
Lexus
Lincoln Motor Company
Locomobile Company of America
Lorraine-Dietrich

M
Marmon Motor Car Company
Matheson (automobile)
McFarlan Automobile

M cont.
Mercedes-Benz

O
Owen Magnetic

P
Pagani
Pagani Automobili S.p.A.
Peerless
Peugeot
Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company
Premier Automotive Group

R
Roewe
Rolls-Royce Motor Cars

S
Scania-Vabis
Škoda Auto
Stanley Motor Carriage Company
Stearns (automobile)
Stevens-Duryea
Stoddard-Dayton
Stutz Motor Company

T
Tatra (company)
Tincher

V
Vanden Plas
Volkswagen
Volvo Cars

W
Wiesmann
Wills Sainte Claire
Winton Motor Carriage Company

Z
ZiL

Hm let's see. Ford owns Lincoln which is a luxury brand, they used to own Aston Martin, Jaguar, Land Rover all of which are considered luxury brands.

Most of the car companies you listed are also like that. They either own, or are owned by other companies that make "everyday" cars. Ferrari is owned by Fiat. Volvo is owned by a Chinese company. And you also listed several companies that aren't considered luxury brands, like Peugeot.

And I like how all of you can't even be bothered to read a simple article or the numerous comments that follow it. Mulally used to be CEO of Boeing. He was part of the team that engineered the 777, arguably the most successful plane in modern history. What did you do in your life? Have you managed two successful multi-billion dollar companies? Probably not.

Couldn't agree more mate. Problem is the stakeholders are so clueless about the industry they think that they can apply the same person everywhere. In the meantime everyone under him moan that he has no clue.

The good thing is that you bring someone outside of MS who isn't tied down to anything going on inside, the guy also turned Ford around and made it a solid company that makes good cars and didn't need a government bailout like GM.

trojan_market said,
Here we go again, yet another sales man. I hope this is some sort of Joke.

"He held a number of engineering and program management positions..."

Sure... he's just another salesman.

Read the above comments to learn more about Mulally.

FORD eh? Wonders what a Government OS would be like hmm... Anyway, I can already hear the Found on... road? dead?... jokes...?

Izlude said,
FORD eh? Wonders what a Government OS would be like hmm... Anyway, I can already hear the Found on... road? dead?... jokes...?

Ford is nothing like it used to be, their cars are top notch now and they're also the only US car company that didn't take a penny from the US government to help keep them working, because they were making money while the others were going bankrupt.

-adrian- said,
Top Notch..Ford... hihi

You might not want to believe it but the truth is in their sales and the fact they weren't losing money when the other car makers were.

I love how many people in this thread didn't fully read the article and think Mulally is just a cars salesman.

Mulally was the executive vice president of Boeing and the CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes (BCA). He began his career with Boeing as an engineer in 1969 and was largely credited with BCA's resurgence against Airbus in the mid-2000s.

Mulally was hired by Boeing immediately out of college in 1969 as an engineer. He held a number of engineering and program management positions, making contributions to the Boeing 727, 737, 747, 757, 767 and 777 projects.

He led the cockpit design team on the 757/767 project. Its revolutionary design featured the first all-digital flight deck in a commercial aircraft, the first two man crew for long range aircraft, and a common type rating for pilots on two different aircraft.

He worked on the 777 program first as director of engineering and, from September 1992, as vice-president and general manager.

I would hate that to be true. MS needs someone who breath, knows and understand tech. not some guy that likely types with two fingers.

I hope not. Both Bill and Steve are people that are able to talk technically and knowledgeably about their own products and services because they have tech backgrounds and get it.

This guy is all cars and business, and he would definitely get lost. I always get ****ed when companies hire people simply based on big names, but not on their actual skills. I definitely think someone like Ex-Nokia or Ex-Skype Presidents are much better candidates than this guy. Also, the person needs to be fresh and have a great personality that will appeal to everyone.

j2006 said,
I hope not. Both Bill and Steve are people that are able to talk technically and knowledgeably about their own products and because they have tech backgrounds and get it.

This guy is all cars and business, and he would definitely get lost. I always get ****ed when companies hire people simply based on big names, but not on their actual skills. I definitely think someone like Ex-Nokia or Ex-Skype Presidents are much better candidates than this guy. Also, the person needs to be fresh and have a great personality that will appeal to everyone.

You do know that he was behind the modern flight cockpit right. That's more into communication and hardware are where Microsoft wants to concentrate.

I'd think someone who's actually got a history in the tech industry (like Mr Ex Skype CEO) would better for the job then someone who doesn't.

This was my first thought. While I'm not saying he can't handle being the CEO of MS it just seems weird somehow. You'd expect someone with at least some kind of an history in tech to be CEO of this kind of an company.

SharpGreen said,
I'd think someone who's actually got a history in the tech industry (like Mr Ex Skype CEO) would better for the job then someone who doesn't.

This seems like a choice that is more to make the company move faster and more efficiently. You have to remember that Microsoft is a shell containing large departments that could exist alone as companies. This isn't like Google, Facebook, or Apple which have one primary focus and could rely on tech people. It's more like Tim Cook is running the iPhone Division the way he wants, Sergey Brin is running the Google division the way he wants, Mark Zuckerberg is Zuckerberging the way he wants, and they all report to the CEO who provides direction and facilitates opportunities.

Vonauda said,

This seems like a choice that is more to make the company move faster and more efficiently. You have to remember that Microsoft is a shell containing large departments that could exist alone as companies. This isn't like Google, Facebook, or Apple which have one primary focus and could rely on tech people. It's more like Tim Cook is running the iPhone Division the way he wants, Sergey Brin is running the Google division the way he wants, Mark Zuckerberg is Zuckerberging the way he wants, and they all report to the CEO who provides direction and facilitates opportunities.

THIS!

your spot on in your CEO of MS analogy, its a massive company and the CEO is more of a central organiser than someone who provides ideas.

I just don't see a car CEO candidate actually becoming the CEO of Microsoft. First, he would be lost in all the change and momentum, and secondly Microsoft needs to be cool to the teens while maintaining their pro customer, average consumers, and enterprise all at the same time.

He was also a Boeing engineer and played a major part in making the 777 program so successful. He knows how to manage big companies and projects so I wouldn't rule him out just on his age.

Just because he can manage a car and airplane company doesn't mean he can manage a software company such as Microsoft. MS has such a wide variety of products that cater to so many different market segments. I still have number 1 as Stephen Elop & Tony Bates as number 2.

he made ford profitable after recession. seems like he does know the business aspect of things. if he can also try and develop and understanding of Microsoft and the software behind it, im sure he'd be great!

ians18 said,
I just don't see a car CEO candidate actually becoming the CEO of Microsoft. First, he would be lost in all the change and momentum, and secondly Microsoft needs to be cool to the teens while maintaining their pro customer, average consumers, and enterprise all at the same time.

i don't quite think you understand the role a CEO properly.....he doesn't have to have a software background, that's where the expertise of the section managers and heads come in, the CEO has to be an extremely business focussed and analytically minded person, to gather the info from all his next in line executives and process this info into an aligned strategy. The actual ideas don't really come from the top, they are just processed correctly at the top while keeping in mind the whole balance and high level strategies.

I am sorry but whilst some can argue the merits of background and experience there is one the thing they miss that has a dramatic effect and that is perception which equates to market confidence. This man as a CEO sends a very WRONG message at the very WORST time for MS. I am not being ageist and even if you say I am I don't care because it is perception of the wider that matters here. You not only need someone who can make the right directional decisions but someone who is SEEN as being able to. Outside of the board and a select number of investors looking for larger dividend payouts (possibly shaped by selling off bits of MS) no one is going to do anything else other than pan such a move. Trust me when I say that MS' competitors are wetting their pants laughing right now.

Look at the disaster Tim Cook is for Apple, if they did not have the fanatical base they have Apple would be sliding very quickly now

duddit2 said,

i don't quite think you understand the role a CEO properly.....he doesn't have to have a software background, that's where the expertise of the section managers and heads come in, the CEO has to be an extremely business focussed and analytically minded person, to gather the info from all his next in line executives and process this info into an aligned strategy. The actual ideas don't really come from the top, they are just processed correctly at the top while keeping in mind the whole balance and high level strategies.

The CEO must understand the ins and outs of a company. Microsoft is extremely complex.

ians18 said,

The CEO must understand the ins and outs of a company. Microsoft is extremely complex.

I was half way through a detailed argument to this, but I hit back outside of the comment box and lost it and now cant be arsed

I will say however, I agree, the CEO must understand the ins and outs of the company - good luck finding someone who understands consumer and enterprise software markets along with gaming and hardware - but heres an idea, we could keep things the way they are at huge companies, the CEO has 'generals' who he/she trusts, the CEO then makes decisions based on their reports along with a hell of a lot more data?

Great another rotating chair for CEOs. Well, I hope not because this never ends well. It's all about manipulating stocks then.