Sports betting website lists Stephen Elop as favorite to be new Microsoft CEO

If you are at all interested in the tech industry, then you likely have an opinion on who should succeed Steve Ballmer as Microsoft's next CEO. We even offered up our own list of people who might be suited for the job. When it comes to picking winners, however, perhaps we should look to a source that does this sort of thing for a living.

Of course, we are taking about betting websites, which normally try to pick favorites in sports events. One of them is Ladbrokes, and they currently have a list of possible Microsoft CEO candidates, complete with the odds they might be named for the top spot.

Currently, the site lists Nokia CEO and former Microsoft executive Stephen Elop as its odds-on favorite at 5-1. There has certainly been a lot of online speculation over the past five days that Elop could be brought back to the Microsoft fold after he engineered a tight partnership with the company while at Nokia.

Ladbrokes shows current Microsoft chief operating officer Kevin Turner as the next favorite at 6-1 odds, but they also list former Windows division head Steven Sinofsky in third place at 8-1. This is where we think the online bookies go completely nuts, since very few people think that Sinofsky will be hired back after the reaction to Windows 8.

Some other interesting names for the Microsoft CEO gig, at least according to this list, include Netflix CEO Reed Hastings at 16-1 odds and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg (spelled on Ladbrokes' list as "Cheryl Sandberg") at 40-1. If you want to take a shot at some big returns, you might want to place some money on Apple CEO Tim Cook; the bookies have him at 100-1 to get the top Microsoft spot.

Source: Ladbrokes via CNet | Images via Ladbokes and Nokia

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The guy that kept Symbian so long that it almost kill Nokia and then make exclusive for a new OS? I hope they are joking...

He started at Nokia in September 2010. One of the first things he did was to move to a new OS. This was done in a little over a year from concept/planning to getting it on the market. I don't think he was the one to blame on "keeping Symbian so long that it almost kill Nokia" as you say.

Someone doesn't understand what odds-on favourite means. To be odds-on he would have to be 1/5 not 5/1, i.e. the first number has to be less than the second!!

Surprised that Tony Bates and Satya Nadella are considered such long shots - most of the tech pundits seem to be focusing on one of them to get the top job.

Stephen Elop could make a good CEO, he seems to have done a good job of bringing nokia around, matching nokia and microsoft is a together as the future is mobile and this will give Microsoft a leg up in the mobile space, off load the mobile stuff to nokia and keep the desktop and enterprise stuff with MS. Might allow the nokia engineers to bring the WP8 updates out quicker and more regularly.

God I hope he doesn't, I can see Nokia totally dying if someone not committed to their current changes gets in and tries to change everything the way investors want them to.

5-1 is not a rate for someone very favourite; 1.5/2 even 2.5% would indicate a strong possibility.
It seems to me a list arranged with well known names to attract bets.

She is a bad speaker I agree, but she is anything but dumb.. But I guess that is a bit much for you to get your head around maybe..

Elop is a hot pick because he's been at Microsoft before (he left Microsoft for Nokia) - also, there is a rather large expectation (especially in the EU) that Microsoft will acquire Nokia. For reasons more centered on Nokia (not Microsoft) I can't see Elop becoming CEO of Microsoft unless Microsoft acquires Nokia. There's plenty of advantage in a Microsoft-Nokia lashup (for both companies) - however, would the EU permit the lashup to happen?

Actually a lot of people seem to to be thinking that. That would help explain Nokia buying out Seimens in Nokia Siemens Networks and just a couple weeks later the Ballmer announcement.

I think it might be smart for microsoft to go outside of the company but not Elop. Someone from google like Vic Gundtra might make a lot of sense since he has worked there before.

I agree, I think that Elop has a lot to deal with being CEO of Nokia but looking outside of Microsoft wouldn't be a bad idea.

Nashy said,
He would have been CEO if Ballmer hadn't marched him out of MS.

One thing he did right, no questions about it.

Would be funny if Bill Gate decided to bet 1 billion dollars on himself and he becomes CEO for a day and get the profit for his charity!

And neither are a lot of these guys. Hell, some of them don't really make sense. Elop would have a conflict of interest if he was the MS CEO and the Nokia CEO, Sinofsky (as noted in the article) wouldn't be a prime pick due to his association to Windows 8. Cook wouldn't leave Apple, and neither would Ive (who is also not CEO material, even less so than Belfiore)

It kind of depends on the political situation. If key people at Nokia did not want to end up working for Ballmer, they would want a commitment to retirement before they negotiate a deal. Once the deal is made, they lose all power to control the situation.

Sraf said,
Elop would have a conflict of interest if he was the MS CEO and the Nokia CEO
Unless he leaves Nokia to rejoin Microsoft. Sorry but had to state the blindingly obvious.

I feel that Elop leaving Nokia for MS could be a risky move for the MS-Nokia WP deal they have going. I'm not sure how much Elop is the instigator of that