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Ford's Alan Mulally Could Be Next Microsoft CEO

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September 28, 2013 9:40:32 AM

How exactly is he qualified to run a software company?
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September 28, 2013 10:09:43 AM

Yeah this makes no sense someone from engineering going to software. But gregstreet from blizzard from from marine biology to games. So its been done before. But I guess its a balance of how well you can manage vs knowing software.
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September 28, 2013 10:19:25 AM

he's qualified to run a company, software or not. he did a pretty good job of turning ford around it would seem. and Microsoft needs an outside perspective from someone out of the industry to turn themselves around and make them relevant again. people complain that Microsoft has a habit of not listening to the consumers, well because he's not from a software company that makes him a consumer. Microsoft doesn't need another software engineer. they need someone who knows how to manage things and this guy would appear to be fully qualified in that department.
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September 28, 2013 10:21:37 AM

.. for some reason I accidentally double posted. I found a way to edit but not a way to delete.. sorry.
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September 28, 2013 10:30:02 AM

He has an engineering degree. He is familiar with development cycles, QA and reliability and has good management skills. The software industry needs more "engineers". He would be a decent pick.
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September 28, 2013 10:36:42 AM

Hey Microsoft, just a heads up, you're gonna need more than a figurehead to popularize your company again with the masses. Last time i checked, that's the reason you got rid of Fatty McBadittude.

Pick someone who'll actually do the company a little justice for God's sake.
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September 28, 2013 10:43:20 AM

Just because this guy has some engineering degrees does not mean he's qualified to run a software company which, in fact, needs someone to throw out all garbage from its portfolio (Surface, Windows 8, etc.) and focus on what they do GOOD - Windows 7, Xbox (Xbox One is miles away from where it could be had MS not been so stubborn and blind) and so on.
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September 28, 2013 11:16:09 AM

amk-aka-Phantom said:
Just because this guy has some engineering degrees does not mean he's qualified to run a software company which, in fact, needs someone to throw out all garbage from its portfolio (Surface, Windows 8, etc.) and focus on what they do GOOD - Windows 7, Xbox (Xbox One is miles away from where it could be had MS not been so stubborn and blind) and so on.


One step forward but two steps back, eh? Microsoft only erred when it came too late to the game when it comes to smartphones and touch/tablets. Had the Surface RT launched before the iPad, it wouldn't be heralded as a "failure," it would've been a grand success.

Have you ever used a Windows tablet? And by that, I mean have you done more than play with a store display and walked away grimacing? I felt the same about the display, but then was given a tablet to use for several months. It became a staple in how I did business. That tablet was my primary computer, and the touch interface, the Start Screen, made it so much easier. Especially after Windows 8.1. Using one regularly changed my perspective. So until you walk the walk, don't try to talk the talk.
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September 28, 2013 11:36:54 AM

With Mulally I would expect more integration with vehicles, especially because of SYNC (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_Sync).

A CEO doesn't necessary require deep knowledge of a company they are in charge of. That is delegated to division presidents and managers. The CEO just sets limits based on available resources and keeps things running smoothly so the lower managers can get their jobs done, make strategic business agreements with other companies, and major decisions that involve government agencies. It's the job of the marketing people, salespeople, engineers, and R&D to identify potential customers and provide products that they want.
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September 28, 2013 1:18:50 PM

well, the guy got Ford out of the shitter these last few years. Microsoft isnt exactly in a shitter position right now, but I feel this guy could definitely make better decisions for the company than what Ballmer did. It was seeen from a mile away that OEMs werent going to buy WinRT at $80 a pop. it was obvious people werent going to like the XB1 restrictions. It was plainly obvious people werent going to like heavily touch based turn that Win8 took because hardly anyone has a touch monitor(which OEMs tend to price a few hundred extra for).

If he takes the reigns, I just hope he has some logic which is whats been lacking the past few years.
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September 28, 2013 2:00:24 PM

No... No... NO! Get another Bill Gates on the case, someone young, idealistic, intelligent and someone that wants to give something to people... It CANNOT all be about the money and this guy will be about the money.

NooOoOOooooo
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September 28, 2013 2:01:51 PM

"it was obvious people werent going to like the XB1 restrictions. "

Yet people will probably go for the Steam box. Dumb, really, really dumb. Oh well
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September 28, 2013 2:38:48 PM

I would rather him to stay in Ford, make sure Ford getting better and better. A person with passion with what are they doing will not jump into new challenge , to the extent outside manufacturing line)
Microsoft need someone who has strong passion in what they are doing, like Gates, Google founders. Hp founders.

Some says not to let the company runs by people from Marketing or Sales , because they are good to convinced people to believe, a box of cereal is a steak, The problem with this, there is no fundamental behind it
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September 28, 2013 3:00:51 PM

Who have drive Ford lately? can share with us how the Ford Sync works now?
How long does it take to get it right? This is just an in car navigation system and it takes so long to iron out the bugs and do not mention the UI
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September 28, 2013 3:15:26 PM

a business man? really? I understand the CEO needs to understand how the business world works and how to push products, but look how well that's working out for apple after they lost their Innovator...
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September 28, 2013 4:56:51 PM

I honestly don't think someone from a car company is the right choice. But I guess anything could be better then Ballmer.
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September 28, 2013 11:23:15 PM

The ford focus has push-button start. Maybe he will give Windows 9 a start button as well?
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September 29, 2013 5:05:53 AM

I believe ABC did a special on him in regards to him saving ford. Great watch. This man is definitely qualified for this job. Hopefully he uses similar stratagies, as he's done with ford, and take everything back to the drawing board. Address all the problems that pertain to microsofts current direction and simply fix them. He single handedly saved Ford from financial ruin and avoided a tax payer funded bailout. He has my support.
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September 29, 2013 5:06:24 AM

I believe ABC did a special on him in regards to him saving ford. Great watch. This man is definitely qualified for this job. Hopefully he uses similar stratagies, as he's done with ford, and take everything back to the drawing board. Address all the problems that pertain to microsofts current direction and simply fix them. He single handedly saved Ford from financial ruin and avoided a tax payer funded bailout. He has my support.
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September 29, 2013 2:16:23 PM

@golesky

Exactly. People reading this see only that he is leading an automobile company and feel it disqualifies him from anything else.

A leader figures out what is right, what is wrong and puts together a team capable of leading the company, letting them do what they do best.
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September 29, 2013 2:48:50 PM

Programmers are idiots. An engineer is infinitely more qualified to run a software company than some programmer. An engineer would ask why an OS has to take up 20 GB. Programmers don't care about a program's efficiency, they only care about how efficiently they can use their time to write the program. They don't care about anything at the hardware level because they usually don't understand it. Programmers want to use C to write machine language. Go ask a good programmer to design an ALU with nothing but NAND gates and you'll start to appreciate how little they know.
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September 29, 2013 10:54:48 PM

Are you kidding me I am going to be MS's next CEO.. Sheesh. Behold the mighty power of me. :) 
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September 30, 2013 1:02:05 AM

I guess we will have to wait and see. No point in giving an opinion knowing so little about him.
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September 30, 2013 1:02:37 AM

Can't believe lots of small minded person here yapping "oh, he is not a software engineer!"...CEOs post is to manage the company, not write programs or design architecture for the software. Lots of CEOs crossed industry during their career. It's the bottom line that counts and when it comes to managing money and mobilizing people, it's all the same.
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September 30, 2013 1:56:21 AM

Elop has done a great job with Nokia. He deserves to be the next Microsoft CEO.
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September 30, 2013 4:47:22 AM

Shut down Win phone and tablet developement, fire 10 thousand workers.
Immediate profitability boost, collect hefty bonuses on the way out to the next job.
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September 30, 2013 7:02:40 AM

Bolts Romano said:
Who have drive Ford lately? can share with us how the Ford Sync works now?
How long does it take to get it right? This is just an in car navigation system and it takes so long to iron out the bugs and do not mention the UI


I am not sure if you say this with knowledge that Sync is a Windows Embedded Automotive operating system designed by Microsoft or not. The UI is designed by Ford and that falls squarely on Ford. Wikipedia has more details.
I would not think Sync is a good measure of how well Mulally can manage software development Company.
He would have the benefits of not being emotionally connected to certain Microsoft products, which may open up their business model. It will be interesting to see who they choose.
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September 30, 2013 9:04:50 AM

Within Microsoft, there are thousands of bright software engineers. A lot of them really do have a passion for making good software. For a few of them even it's been their entire life's dream to code programs that help people's everyday lives.

But instead of making one of those guys the leader of your software company, you've seemingly thrown a dart at the stock section of the paper.
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September 30, 2013 10:17:45 AM

While Mulally might be a good pick, I'm not sure why he would want to leave Ford. He has been doing a good job there turning around and then keeping the company on track. I guess $$ talks, but I'd be surprised if Ford didn't counter-offer.
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September 30, 2013 1:37:52 PM

Tuishimi said:
@golesky

Exactly. People reading this see only that he is leading an automobile company and feel it disqualifies him from anything else.

A leader figures out what is right, what is wrong and puts together a team capable of leading the company, letting them do what they do best.


I disagree with the opinion where people undermine him because he came from an automobile background. Do not get wrong, He did an excellent job as a CEO for Ford, and without doubt he has his own skills to do that.
However to become a CEO is not just sit and telling people what to do. He must understand how it works, the culture inside the business, how to envision it and be wise to guide the subordinate.

This is the reason why we never have the best general in the world came from sales background for example
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September 30, 2013 6:40:19 PM

Bolts Romano said:
Tuishimi said:
@golesky

Exactly. People reading this see only that he is leading an automobile company and feel it disqualifies him from anything else.

A leader figures out what is right, what is wrong and puts together a team capable of leading the company, letting them do what they do best.


I disagree with the opinion where people undermine him because he came from an automobile background. Do not get wrong, He did an excellent job as a CEO for Ford, and without doubt he has his own skills to do that.
However to become a CEO is not just sit and telling people what to do. He must understand how it works, the culture inside the business, how to envision it and be wise to guide the subordinate.

This is the reason why we never have the best general in the world came from sales background for example


I can understand why you think that but a good CEO is involved at a very high, directional level. He CAN'T be involved in the mechanisms of the machine. A good CEO is a communicator and leader and he knows how to hire good staff and how to use his staff.

Sometimes engineers make terrible CEO's... take DEC for example. While Olsen was well liked, he lacked the sort of foresight and hiring savvy that could have saved DEC YEARS before it began to decline.

Jobs wasn't very good the first time around either. He learned a lot from his failures.

But I do agree with you in some cases... the CEO of the company I work for worked her way up through the ranks to become President. Part of her success was that she really knew the business, but more so she simply happens to be very dynamic and very persuasive and a fantastic leader. She also learned to rely on the people she pays to come up with direction and new products to a great extent.
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October 1, 2013 9:17:48 AM

Tuishimi said:
Bolts Romano said:
Tuishimi said:
@golesky

Exactly. People reading this see only that he is leading an automobile company and feel it disqualifies him from anything else.

A leader figures out what is right, what is wrong and puts together a team capable of leading the company, letting them do what they do best.


I disagree with the opinion where people undermine him because he came from an automobile background. Do not get wrong, He did an excellent job as a CEO for Ford, and without doubt he has his own skills to do that.
However to become a CEO is not just sit and telling people what to do. He must understand how it works, the culture inside the business, how to envision it and be wise to guide the subordinate.

This is the reason why we never have the best general in the world came from sales background for example


I can understand why you think that but a good CEO is involved at a very high, directional level. He CAN'T be involved in the mechanisms of the machine. A good CEO is a communicator and leader and he knows how to hire good staff and how to use his staff.

Sometimes engineers make terrible CEO's... take DEC for example. While Olsen was well liked, he lacked the sort of foresight and hiring savvy that could have saved DEC YEARS before it began to decline.

Jobs wasn't very good the first time around either. He learned a lot from his failures.

But I do agree with you in some cases... the CEO of the company I work for worked her way up through the ranks to become President. Part of her success was that she really knew the business, but more so she simply happens to be very dynamic and very persuasive and a fantastic leader. She also learned to rely on the people she pays to come up with direction and new products to a great extent.


@Tuishimi
Good Point and I respect that. Lets hope MS Board of Director manage to find the right person to run the company
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October 1, 2013 4:17:45 PM

Isn't this the same guy who oversaw Boeing's plastic plane, the 787 Dreamliner? And we know how that ended up.
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October 11, 2013 7:00:08 AM

beta tester said:
Isn't this the same guy who oversaw Boeing's plastic plane, the 787 Dreamliner? And we know how that ended up.


no.
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October 11, 2013 8:30:27 AM

Bolts Romano said:
Who have drive Ford lately? can share with us how the Ford Sync works now?
How long does it take to get it right? This is just an in car navigation system and it takes so long to iron out the bugs and do not mention the UI


Sync is NOT "just an in car navigation system". Sync is an "INFOtainment" system.
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October 27, 2013 11:23:36 AM

sykozis said:
Bolts Romano said:
Who have drive Ford lately? can share with us how the Ford Sync works now?
How long does it take to get it right? This is just an in car navigation system and it takes so long to iron out the bugs and do not mention the UI


Sync is NOT "just an in car navigation system". Sync is an "INFOtainment" system.


Hi Sykoziz, in that case Alan Mullaly is not a good candidate to run Microsoft, What Microsoft needs now is a person with good understanding the meaning of these words: Aesthetic, Elegant. I rather to have Buick or Cadillac product manager to run MS
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!