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Ford's Alan Mulally Could Be Next Microsoft CEO

By - Source: AllThingsD | B 36 comments
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Move over Elop.

As soon as Steve Ballmer announced his plans to leave his position as CEO of Microsoft, the industry started to speculate as to who might be the next chief executive of Microsoft. Plenty of names were bandied around, from inside and outside Microsoft. Our friends at LAPTOP covered everyone from Julie Larson-Green to Google's Sundar Pichai in their list of potential candidates.

One man who wasn't on the list was Alan Mulally, the CEO of Ford. However, it seems Mulally may now be the top pick, ahead of even Stephen Elop. AllThingsD cites sources close to the situation that say Mr. Mulally is now the front runner among the candidates for the job and that while he wasn't initially looking to move to Microsoft, he has become more open to the idea over the last few weeks. 

Mulally has been CEO of Ford since 2006. He started his career as an engineer at Boeing in 1969 and held numerous positions at the company over the decades that he worked there, including senior VP of airplane development, president of the information, space and defense systems, and senior VP. He moved from Boeing to Ford in 2006, 37 years after he stated working for Boeing.

He received Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from University of Kansas. He also holds a Master's in Management from MIT Sloan School of Management.

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Top Comments
  • 13 Hide
    dvo , September 28, 2013 10:19 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.
Other Comments
  • 1 Hide
    sykozis , September 28, 2013 9:40 AM
    How exactly is he qualified to run a software company?
  • 0 Hide
    Galvin , September 28, 2013 10:09 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.
  • Display all 36 comments.
  • 13 Hide
    dvo , September 28, 2013 10:19 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.
  • 2 Hide
    dvo , September 28, 2013 10:21 AM
    .. for some reason I accidentally double posted. I found a way to edit but not a way to delete.. sorry.
  • 6 Hide
    Tuishimi , September 28, 2013 10:30 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.
  • -6 Hide
    Jonathan Tucker , September 28, 2013 10:36 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.
  • -8 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , September 28, 2013 10:43 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.
  • 3 Hide
    nbelote , September 28, 2013 11:16 AM
    Quote:
    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.
  • 8 Hide
    jhansonxi , September 28, 2013 11:36 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.
  • 2 Hide
    bustapr , September 28, 2013 1:18 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.
  • -3 Hide
    damianrobertjones , September 28, 2013 2:00 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
  • -2 Hide
    damianrobertjones , September 28, 2013 2:01 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
  • 2 Hide
    Bolts Romano , September 28, 2013 2:38 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
  • -1 Hide
    Bolts Romano , September 28, 2013 3:00 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
  • 1 Hide
    vmem , September 28, 2013 3:15 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...
  • -1 Hide
    smeezekitty , September 28, 2013 4:56 PM
    I honestly don't think someone from a car company is the right choice. But I guess anything could be better then Ballmer.
  • 2 Hide
    builder4 , September 28, 2013 11:23 PM
    The ford focus has push-button start. Maybe he will give Windows 9 a start button as well?
  • 1 Hide
    goleksy , September 29, 2013 5:05 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.
  • -1 Hide
    goleksy , September 29, 2013 5:06 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.
  • -1 Hide
    Tuishimi , September 29, 2013 2:16 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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