Microsoft Narrows Next CEO Candidates Down to Shortlist

Microsoft's search for a CEO continues, but the latest reports suggest the company is getting closer to a decision. The company announced plans to replace current CEO Steve Ballmer when Ballmer announced his retirement in August. Ballmer said he would leave the company within a year and that he would lend a hand in the search for a new leader. According to Reuters, Microsoft now has a short list of candidates for the job.

The news portal cites 'sources familiar with the matter' that say Microsoft is down to about five names, having started with roughly forty. Unsurprisingly, the candidates who remain in the running for consideration are all names we've heard before. Reuters' sources say both former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop and Ford CEO Alan Mulally are on the list. Both men have, at one point or another over the last two months, been considered front runners for the position. Former Skype CEO and current Executive VP of Business Development, Strategy and Evangelism at Microsoft, Tony Bates, and Satya Nadella, Executive VP of Cloud and Enterprise are apparently also on the list.

Rumors about the former head of Microsoft's business division, Stephen Elop, getting the job surfaced when Microsoft announced its acquisition of Nokia. Prior to those reports, lists of potential candidates covered everyone from Microsoft's own Julie Larson-Green to Google's Sundar Pichai. At the end of September, the Mulally rumors surfaced. AllThingsD reported that Mulally was the front runner among the candidates for the job, though neither party commented on the rumors.

Follow Jane McEntegart @JaneMcEntegart. Follow us @tomshardware, on Facebook and on Google+.

Create a new thread in the US News comments forum about this subject
This thread is closed for comments
Comment from the forums
    Your comment
  • vmem
    All things considered, I'd put my money on Elop, mainly because he has the advantage of having been working closely with Microsoft for a while now. Otherwise as people pointed out in September, Mulally isn't a bad choice
  • burmese_dude
    Outrageous! I'm not on this list.

    I've got stellar qualification of posting comments on websites such as
  • Buddy Couch
    I wouldn't want to bet on a guy whose cars have archaic software systems. That recently added bluetooth in last 3 years. It is not possible for him to be caught up with the latest and greatest of what microsoft can do or will do. Yes ceo is about the business and that may not be technical most of the time, but wouldn't you rather have a guy that knows software business rather than one that knows car business?