Microsoft's list of candidates to replace Steve Ballmer just grew by one
Following the announcement that Steve Ballmer was stepping down as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Microsoft, the Redmond giant immediately began compiling a list of candidates to take over the reins, and then trimmed it down. Two names that made the cut and are viewed as frontrunners include Stephan Elop (ex-Nokia chief) and Alan Mulally (current Ford chief), though they're not the only two. In fact, the list might even be growing, as Microsoft is said to now be considering Qualcomm's Chief Operating Officer (COO) Steve Mollenkopf as well.
According to Bloomberg and its sources, Mollenkopf joins a list of candidates "under serious consideration" by Microsoft's board of directors. Part of Mollenkopf's appeal compared to Mulally is that he has experience in the tech market. Mollenkeop currently heads up a division at Qualcomm that builds processors for some of the top mobile phones, and mobile is an area Microsoft is very much trying to infiltrate.
Ballmer gave himself and the board of directors up to 12 months to find a replacement when he announced his impending retirement four months ago. That leaves them with up to 8 months to go, though the sooner they hand over the reins, the sooner Microsoft can focus all its attention on its future operations. The longer this drags on, the more of a distraction it becomes. At the same time, this will likely be one of the biggest decisions the Redmond company makes in a long, long time.
As for Ford's Mulally, Bloomberg says his lack of technical experience worries some members of the board. There's also the question of whether or not he'd even accept a job offer, though up to this point he hasn't told the media himself that he plans to stay with Ford until the end of 2014, which is when his contract expires.