Top Microsoft shareholders reportedly want Ford CEO to replace Ballmer


Ford CEO Alan Mulally is reportedly a top choice for Microsoft CEO by leading investors.

Three of Microsoft's top 20 investors want Ford CEO Alan Mulally or Computer Sciences CEO Mike Lawrie as the company's next chief executive when current CEO Steve Ballmer retires within a year, according to a new report from Reuters.

The shareholders could have some sway, according to the Reuters report, as the special committee in charge of Microsoft's CEO search has reportedly sought the input of top investors. Microsoft made no guarantee to shareholders that their suggestions would be considered.

Mulally, who is credited with turning Ford around since being named its CEO in 2006, has no experience in the technology industry but was an engineer for Boeing before becoming chief executive of the company's commercial airplane subsidiary. The former engineer's name has been brought up by several analysts as a premier choice who could potentially reinvigorate Microsoft, which has remained extremely profitable under Ballmer but seen its overall market worth drop dramatically.

On Friday, however, Mulally told Bloomberg that he would remain Ford's chief executive "until at least the end of 2014." Reuters claims Mulally would consider stepping down earlier if offered an "appealing new role," according to its sources.

Lawrie, who has served as the Computer Sciences CEO since 2012, would likely be a darkhorse candidate for the top Microsoft position, though he has an extensive technology background, having served as an IBM employee for nearly 30 years. Prior to joining Computer Sciences, Lawrie spent about a year as a general partner at ValueAct Capital, an activist investment group that invested $2 billion in Microsoft in April. Microsoft recently announced ValueAct President Mason Morfit has the option of joining its board of directors following a shareholder meeting in November.

Technology companies hiring CEOs without experience in the industry have seen mixed results at best, with Apple's decision to hire John Sculley from Pepsi being the most notable failure. Sculley famously fired Steve Jobs from the company he co-founded.

Steven Elop, who is slated to return to Microsoft when the deal for Nokia's smartphone business completes early next year, is widely regarded as a front-runner to be Ballmer's replacement. Elop headed Microsoft's Office division prior to being named Nokia's CEO in 2010, a position he stepped down from when the deal with Microsoft was announced.

Source: Reuters | Image via Ford

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Ford and Boeing are manufacturing companies.... thats what Mullay is good at. Elop would be better be better then Mullay, although I don't really like Elop. Microsoft is software company needs someone who is familiar with how to architect software and understand the business side of tech.

He's actually a nice choice to face the problems Microsoft is experiencing. Ford had a very tall organization structure. Managers on all levels spend the entire day blaming others for their sorrows. There was no corporation between the different parts of the company. For example each cartype had their own suppliers. There was hardly any interconnectivity.

Mulally really turned things around at ford. Turning it into 'one ford' just like Microsoft wants to be 'one microsoft'. This is necessary to make their presence on both the PC, tablet and phone market into a competitive advantage. Not to mention he made Ford into a 'nicer' company with better values. This is something consumers pick up. And in the gadget market you need loyal customers.

SO while he is a very obvious choice (in the sense that any first year business student would pick him because he is the school example of a change manager) he is stil a good choice.

I would agree on those points but not on the history of supporting their OEM electronics. The myFord touch thing was put out when it clearly wasn't ready, and they haven't put an update to Sync Gen1 in two years. Microsoft needs someone that understands supporting the consumer.

LarvaInject said,
How is Ford not considered Tech industry? Your comment makes no sense.

-LarvaInject


Different types of tech. Information services are not cars

Ballmer has just as much potential to fix current issues at Microsoft than anyone else would.

What Microsoft need to do is listen to feedback from users, like they once used to. One million posts around the internet about the missing Start menu in Windows 8 is feedback. Low scores on Amazon.com is also feedback. All my complaints to Microsoft about their modern themes is also feedback - and it all seems to have gone unnoticed. Apple can get away with it due to the polish they add to their products (but this may not be for much longer, as they also seem desperate for the next big thing - which won't just come from changing a theme).

68k said,
Ballmer has just as much potential to fix current issues at Microsoft than anyone else would.

What Microsoft need to do is listen to feedback from users, like they once used to. One million posts around the internet about the missing Start menu in Windows 8 is feedback. Low scores on Amazon.com is also feedback. All my complaints to Microsoft about their modern themes is also feedback - and it all seems to have gone unnoticed. Apple can get away with it due to the polish they add to their products (but this may not be for much longer, as they also seem desperate for the next big thing - which won't just come from changing a theme).

They did listen to feedback. They also have a direction they want to take, and they're not pulling away from it.

Okay, so why wasn't a proper Start menu implemented in Windows 8.1? It's probably the most complained about missing Windows feature ever. I'm not kidding - take a look at the Amazon.com reviews, where it only scored 3/5 on average (really low for Windows). (Sorry to bring it up again).

68k said,
Okay, so why wasn't a proper Start menu implemented in Windows 8.1? It's probably the most complained about missing Windows feature ever. I'm not kidding - take a look at the Amazon.com reviews, where it only scored 3/5 on average (really low for Windows). (Sorry to bring it up again).

Because there were still ignorant and stubborn people at MS clinging to their failed Metro concept and are content to watch their sales plummet. This is the biggest reason the shareholders forced Steve Ballmer out.

68k said,
Okay, so why wasn't a proper Start menu implemented in Windows 8.1? It's probably the most complained about missing Windows feature ever. I'm not kidding - take a look at the Amazon.com reviews, where it only scored 3/5 on average (really low for Windows). (Sorry to bring it up again).

Did you not read the rest of my comment above?

Lord Method Man said,

Because there were still ignorant and stubborn people at MS clinging to their failed Metro concept and are content to watch their sales plummet. This is the biggest reason the shareholders forced Steve Ballmer out.

100 million licenses is such a failure... /s

Dot Matrix said,

100 million licenses is such a failure... /s

Yeah, they shipped 100 million license and announced it back in March. Four months later they are still boasting the 100 million number (no growth) and also saying there are 80 million Windows 8 users.

100 million sold by March, 80 million users by July = whole lot of unwanted inventory and unsatisfied customers.

Sorry for bursting your propaganda bubble.

Lord Method Man said,

Yeah, they shipped 100 million license and announced it back in March. Four months later they are still boasting the 100 million number (no growth) and also saying there are 80 million Windows 8 users.

100 million sold by March, 80 million users by July = whole lot of unwanted inventory and unsatisfied customers.

Sorry for bursting your propaganda bubble.

No growth? Not true. You'll most likely hear new figures at the Surface press event. Sorry to burst your propaganda bubble.

68k said,
Okay, so why wasn't a proper Start menu implemented in Windows 8.1? It's probably the most complained about missing Windows feature ever. I'm not kidding - take a look at the Amazon.com reviews, where it only scored 3/5 on average (really low for Windows). (Sorry to bring it up again).

I am running windows 8.1 and I absolutely love it. first try it and then complain. don't be a negative nancy

Dot Matrix said,

They did listen to feedback. They also have a direction they want to take, and they're not pulling away from it.

False, Microsoft has not listened to ANY feedback from consumers regarding the ui or missing start menu in windows 8.

Lord Method Man said,

Yeah, they shipped 100 million license and announced it back in March. Four months later they are still boasting the 100 million number (no growth) and also saying there are 80 million Windows 8 users.

100 million sold by March, 80 million users by July = whole lot of unwanted inventory and unsatisfied customers.

Sorry for bursting your propaganda bubble.

This

Order_66 said,

False, Microsoft has not listened to ANY feedback from consumers regarding the ui or missing start menu in windows 8.

Because they're not putting it back. Duh. They are going forward in a new direction with the Start Screen, and they're keeping with it. There's no reason not too. It's not too hard to click a tile. Too bad so sad.

Lord Method Man said,

Nice attitude. Its the same one that cost failed executives Sinofsky, Mattrick, and Ballmer their jobs. Keep it up.

Right. Do you have insider information now? If you can't be bothered to click tiles, than right click the Start Button on the taskbar *gasp* look what appears!

Lord Method Man said,
Wow, how immature. You really get upset when faced with facts.

I'm far from upset, and there's no facts being posted here. If you don't like it, too bad so sad, but we're all tired of the complaining. Put on you big boy pants, and do something constructive - install an alternative, actually learn the new Screen... Just something other than the same old song and dance.

This isn't the 90's anymore. Computing has advanced. It's time our operating systems and habits did too. The Start Screen isn't going away. 9

Crimson Rain said,
never listen to shareholders. They just want a quick boost of shares, sell and earn money. They do not care about long run.

If you do not want to listen to shareholders..... do not ask for their money. Go to a bank, ask for a line of credit and pay for it.

CSC CEO would flop. talk about a guy that REALLY doesn't get consumers. And a car salesman has no place running the worlds largest most successful software company.

This is almost certainly Elop's take for a few simple reasons:
1) chromebooks failed twice. windows is too entrenched and well supported, and on the enterprise, google has failed with docs and just about everything else. MSFT enterprise businesses are on auto pilot and neither apple nor google stand a chance in the server room. Billions of legacy x86 apps just work and businesses will never upgrade windows PCs to touch devices as productivity would suffer and costs skyrocket.

2) MSFT flopped mobile so they need somebody who understands the mobile market and can put billions of dollars to good use. So every candidate without mobile experience is out specially the enterprise guys. This leaves Elop as the only choice out of those mentioned for the job. You may disagree that he is a good CEO but you can't disagree that he's far more experienced with the phone market than anybody else at Microsoft. Likely he understands what OEMs want: free windows phone. no license fees. and more likely deliver.

Such a stupid idea. Why don't all 100,000 MS employees find these top share holders and hit them over the head with their Surface RT? Such a stupid dumb idea, a car guy running a software company.

Alan is probably one of those CEO's who pecks at his keyboard like a chicken and keeps mistakenly launching Notepad for Microsoft Word and has to call his secretary everytime to help him. Say what you will about Ballmer, but the guy is bright, he is actually brighter than Bill Gates at Math, Excel Guru and I am sure he is an excellent touch typist.

The only other person I could see matching up with that is like Steven Sinofsky, but since he's gone, then we just have to settle with Mr. Elop.

I hate the idea of hiring him, but lets not forget that Mulally was a Boeing engineer. I'm sure he's pretty handy with a computer. However, handy with a computer is not at all the same as being qualified to decide the future of computing. I HATE the idea that MS needs a turn around artist for a CEO. They need someone that can understand the vision of unifying the needs of enterprise, power users, and consumers under one set of products and take that vision to new great places...

Mr. Dee said,
Such a stupid dumb idea, a car guy running a software company.

Wow, that was in ignorant comment, Mr. Dee. Do you have any idea how much software is inside a car?

-LarvaInject

DJ Dark said,
So they want the top Shareholder of Fix or repair daily to take over? HAHAHHA!!
My 2012 Shelby, 2004 Cobra, and 67 fastback, would say otherwise.