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Microsoft Reportedly Wants New CEO by Year's End

By - Source: Bloomberg | B 17 comments
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Microsoft's search for a new CEO is apparently somewhat urgent.

Current Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced plans to retire at the end of August. At the time, Ballmer said he would stay on until a new CEO was found and would help in the search for his replacement. Ballmer recently had his last company meeting at Microsoft, suggesting his exit was imminent. Now, rumor has it that Microsoft's board hopes to find a replacement before the year is over.

Bloomberg cites people with knowledge of the discussions who say Microsoft is currently narrowing down its list of potential CEOs and is hoping to reach a decision, appointing a new chief executive before 2013 draws to a close. Bloomberg's sources say some candidates have said they're not interested (eBay CEO John Donahoe is one example), and Microsoft is working on its choices amid preliminary interviews. Redmond has reportedly already spoken to Ford's Alan Mulally, Nokia's Stephen Elop, Pivotal CEO and former Microsoft exec Paul Maritz, and Microsoft business chief Tony Bates.

It's been almost 50 days since Ballmer announced his plans to retire within the year. In that time we've seen all sorts of names bandied about as potential candidates, chief among them Nokia's Stephen Elop (who used to work at Microsoft), and Ford CEO Alan Mulally. Mulally was, at the end of September, described as the frontrunner for the position. Though Ford has refused to entertain the rumors (the company called it 'speculation'), Mulally has cryptically said his plan to stay at Ford until the end of 2014 remains unchanged. Is Microsoft willing to wait for the right candidate, or is time of the essence in this scenario? Or, will Mulally change his plans in exchange for the right deal at Redmond?

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  • 5 Hide
    ubercake , October 11, 2013 8:35 AM
    I'll do it!
  • 5 Hide
    gotskillz , October 11, 2013 8:49 AM
    I really hope they find somebody young. These old CEO's running these IT companies are getting behind the times.

    They need somebody young that will come in and actually be CEO and help be the creative engine for the future. This is what Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were. They need a leader that is equally interested in the profits of the company and the product they are delivering. That is what Steve and Bill were.

    They didn't care about cutting corners and releasing crappy systems for the sake of profit.
  • -7 Hide
    ioconnor , October 11, 2013 8:53 AM
    Need to remove Bill Gates as Chairman before picking a new CEO or this time they won't lose 600 billion but the whole company.
  • 2 Hide
    snowzsan , October 11, 2013 9:11 AM
    @ ioconnor

    Right, because it has anything to do with Bill being Chairman. How about the string of terrible products they pushed on the market (Office 365, anyone?) like the popularly hated but completely misunderstood Windows 8?

    Microsoft, WITHOUT Bill's ideals, went ahead and switched up their market plan because they were falling behind in terms of innovation. Of course their avid crowd was pissed, but it's a necessary change. The sooner people realize that a company is going to save itself before it better serves it's customers, the better.
  • -1 Hide
    InvalidError , October 11, 2013 9:19 AM
    If Microsoft wants to go somewhere, they need to start over with someone who does not have 40 years of preconceived ideas and experience in the way everybody else does things... otherwise, they will end up doing most of the exact same boring things they are already doing in almost exactly same boring ways.

    They need a "(mostly) legacy-free" outsider to come through and do a clean sweep of constructive criticism because Microsoft (and most long-time players) are stuck in patterns.
  • 4 Hide
    ubercake , October 11, 2013 9:27 AM
    Quote:
    Need to remove Bill Gates as Chairman before picking a new CEO or this time they won't lose 600 billion but the whole company.

    This company is earning tens of BILLIONS (over 50 this year) in profit even during this transitional phase. Where do you get your facts?
  • 0 Hide
    milktea , October 11, 2013 10:00 AM
    by year's end?

    Why don't MS just find someone to be interim CEO from within the company?

    If they try to rush it, they might end up over paying someone who'd most likely screw up the company.
  • 0 Hide
    gotskillz , October 11, 2013 12:39 PM
    Quote:
    Need to remove Bill Gates as Chairman before picking a new CEO or this time they won't lose 600 billion but the whole company.

    This company is earning tens of BILLIONS (over 50 this year) in profit even during this transitional phase. Where do you get your facts?

    Haha I was wondering the same thing
  • 0 Hide
    iam2thecrowe , October 11, 2013 12:52 PM
    Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson seem right for the job.
  • 0 Hide
    gaaah , October 11, 2013 3:47 PM
    MS rejuvination = new OS with tightly integrated voice recognition and eyeball tracking.
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , October 11, 2013 4:11 PM
    Marissa Mayer, merge with Yahoo at the same time
  • 0 Hide
    back_by_demand , October 11, 2013 4:11 PM
    Marissa Mayer, merge with Yahoo at the same time
  • 0 Hide
    Duckhunt , October 11, 2013 7:54 PM
    Id like windows 9 to have an app called Ms nurse. This would diagnose medical conditions if you have a really high res camera to take a photo of your medical condition. It tells you what to do. It gives you a list of possible medical conditions. These kind of free apps will help sell the it. It seems simple.
  • 0 Hide
    Duckhunt , October 11, 2013 8:07 PM
    What we need is a CEO who will push the OS to use the power of the PC. Right now the pc hardware is far ahead of the software. We need an OS that pushes productivity.
    how? Another app could be the ergonomic app. I'd like Ms to have the camera and it has gps in it. It looks at the user and gives advice to the height of the screen and other ways to stop repetitive injury. So much potential to unlock.

  • 0 Hide
    belardo , October 12, 2013 1:37 AM
    I can run MS better than Ballmer, then again so can half the people here.
    Quote:
    Quote:
    This company is earning tens of BILLIONS (over 50 this year) in profit even during this transitional phase. Where do you get your facts?

    Haha I was wondering the same thing
    MS is making money on their revenue streams and Android extortion.

    PC sales are down about 40% since the release of Windows 8. Win8.1 will NOT change sales. It will still plummet. Average consumers get Win8 cause its all thats its available... not able or wanting to buy a business computers with Win7Pro from Lenovo / Dell / HP which are usually special order.

    What MS makes in Win8 licences doesn't mean the actual computers have sold.
    Nokia was a $60B company... now it was bought for under $5. Blackberry/RIM went from a $40B company to $1~2B in two years.

    So lets look at the future of computers & other facts:
    1 - Most people never LOVE MS-DOS/Windows. It was about standards for business, nothing more. So nowadays, its only business that cares and more of them are walking away.

    2 - Consumers DON'T like Win8. So they sure as hell are NOT buying Windows Phones and tablets. What Nokia has sold Lumias in a year, Apple does in a week.
    3 - WinRT (not a Windows OS) = fail. Only MS and Nokia are making Win8.1RT devices.
    4 - WinPhone8.x = Nokia, only. Samsung and HTC are out of the WinPo biz.

    5 - xBone, er Xbox One = Nuff said. I'd project by 2015, PS4 will have 4X the install base. Like the Wii-U, there isn't much reason to buy it... but not as bad as the Wii-U. The 360 is barely in the black... the Xb1 is easily unprofitable. (I'm not bullshitting, I don't know a SINGLE human being in REAL LIFE who is going to buy the Xbone. I've asked a local gaming store manager... He's seeing ratios of 5 to 1 against the MS console) . Me and my wife are drooling for the PS4. Even if the Xb1 was $400, we are NOT going to buy it.

    6 - Office 2013 = crap version of Office 2010 at a higher price. (Home edition O2010 = 3 installs, Pro = 2 installs). MS screwed us (at first) with locking O2013 to the hardware... wow! If your notebook dies or is stolen, too bad - you were going to have to spend another $300~500 for a POS software you BOUGHT!

    6B - Office 2013 is butt ugly. Blinding white UI?!

    7 - METRO, designed for tablets & phone, its horrible and idiotic desktop GUI. MS shoved it up people's butt. 8.1 fixes nothing. Worse, Win8 Desktop mode has been uglified.

    8 - MS as a whole is a middle-management company. IE11 for Windows 7 shows HOW un-professional Microsoft is. How? IE11 uses Win8 skin on Windows7! Apple or anyone with a brain DON'T DO THIS! It breaks standard. Its ugly.

    MS only makes money on two things: Windows and Office. They'll never capture a decent market share with tablets and phone. MS has to come up with something people go "Oh yeah!". Mircosoft can't do it. Windows7 was the closest thing a great product... and its not perfect.

    Unlike 2006, there are alternatives to MS Win/Office.
    A $200~400 tablet can handle the needs of most humans.
    I use Windows7 on an Intel i5-4770 quad core CPU with 16GB RAM and Intel SSD on a 24" display. Yet, if I'm NOT working, I'll relax and handle my internet needs on my iPad (iPad1... which is dog slow compared to the iPad3/4). My wife's notebook is LinuxMint. She barely knows how to use a computer and has NO problems using Linux for her work. Otherwise, she's on her Android phone.

    So yes... MS made a profit in 2013. But as we see, the board can't wait to get rid of him. MS was warned that Win8 was garbage for months on sites like Toms. Many of us has given MS solutions... and not get paid for it :( 

    Windows7 is MY LAST Microsoft OS. PC Gaming? What PC gaming? For AAA titles, I'll be getting PS4 games. Productivity? Linux. For phone and tablets = Android.

    With the NSA code built into Windows... I'm sure foreign governments LOVE that. China is pushing Linux as their primary desktop OS. Linux community will find any NSA code there easily.

    MS has burned a lot of us... time for them to die. No, MS won't die... they'll become a small company. Like Polaroid, perhaps?

    What can save MS?
    1 - a real apology.
    2 - Windows 8.5 with a NORMAL and nice looking desktop UI. Metro apps runs ontop of the desktop in WINDOWS.
    3 - Sell it for $50, retail. Not as an upgrade or semi-OEM version.
    4 - Sell the OEM version for the same price to ANY OEM company, like $40. Why? So Dell, Lenovo, Acer don't command the market with price. Smaller companies can grow. Back in the 80s~90s, here were thousands of small PC clone companies and dozens of well known brands. Its how Dell & Gateway2000 got started. For Dell, they pay about $35~40 per Windows8x install. Meanwhile, a guy who wants to start his own small PC company will pay $110... that is NOT competition.

    5 - kill WinRT. Expand Phone OS to handle tablet resolutions (it was ALWAYS stupid to have WinRT)

    6 - Xbone1 is a lost cause. Unless sold for $300.

    7 - Fire pretty much most of their manager staff.

    sigh... overall, there isn't much to work with.
  • 0 Hide
    rokit , October 12, 2013 8:00 AM
    @ubercake
    But can you jump while yelling "WOOOOHOOOOOO" at the same time? MS is a serious company and they choose contenders very carefully.
  • 0 Hide
    InvalidError , October 12, 2013 9:17 AM
    Quote:
    MS is a serious company and they choose contenders very carefully.

    The biggest problem for big companies is when they get too big and successful, they start imposing more of their will on the market and when the market decides things have reached the breaking point, sales start faltering and those companies have a hard time figuring out why while even casual external observers wonder why they are missing the painfully obvious like Microsoft did with their first-gen Surface products.