Stephen Elop Mulls Selling Xbox Business and Bing if Chosen CEO of Microsoft

Paul Lilly

A candidate for Microsoft's CEO position is already thinking about big changes

Former Nokia chief Stephen Elop is reportedly on Microsoft's short list of candidates to take over as Chief Executive Officer of the Redmond software giant. He faces some stiff competition -- most notably, Ford CEO Alan Mulally, who has a history of turning around big companies -- but if Microsoft ultimately chooses Elop to replace Steve Ballmer, it doesn't appear he would be afraid to make some big, controversial changes.

According to a Bloomberg report , Elop's first order of business would be to emphasize Microsoft's lucrative Office business. Beyond that, however, he would also consider killing or selling off Microsoft's Bing search engine, as well as sell the company's Xbox business. It's not set in stone that he would do that, but according to Bloomberg , he would certainly consider both options if he deemed them non-critical to the company's overall strategy.

These are pretty drastic changes, making Elop a sort of wild card if he takes over. Assuming Bloomberg's information is solid, it will be interesting to see if it has any influence on Microsoft's decision. No doubt some big changes are needed and Microsoft is in the midst of a restructuring effort, but selling off its Xbox business and bidding farewell to Bing may not be what Ballmer and company had in mind.

Image Credit: Flickr (j_baer)

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