Microsoft Shares Drop With Talk of Mulally Staying with Ford

Microsoft's shares reportedly fell 3 percent on Thursday after Ford CEO Alan Mulally said in a Bloomberg television interview that he plans to stay with the company through next year rather than abandon ship and take Steve Ballmer's position as CEO of Microsoft. Mulally is reportedly the top candidate for the job followed by Microsoft's own Satya Nadella.

Previously, Ford Motor Co. director Edsel Ford II told reporters at an event for the new Mustang in Dearborn, Michigan, that Mulally "is staying through the end of 2014 and that's all I know." This is really nothing new, as Mulally and Ford representatives have said all along that he would stay until the end of next year.

Of course, that means Mulallay will be unable to fill Steve Ballmer's shoes, who plans to vacate the CEO chair as late as August 2014. Yet Microsoft investors want the change to take place before August so that the company can quickly transition into a Devices and Services entity with a new leader. A final CEO decision could extend into January 2014, according to insiders close to the matter.

Bloomberg reports that Ford's directors haven't pressed Mullaly to make a public statement about the whole Microsoft CEO business because he already clarified his plans to stay with Ford until the end of 2014. He made his intentions perfectly clear to the company board, Edsel Ford said.

Yet there's a good reason why eyes are still locked on Ford's current CEO. "[Mulally is] the turnaround guy, he's the streamlining guy," Colin Gillis, an analyst at BGC Partners LP in New York, told Bloomberg in an interview. "All these people who are clamoring to get rid of Bing and Xbox and just focus on the core, he would be the guy most likely to do that."

Insiders recently told AllThingsD that more than a dozen tech leaders in Silicon Valley, as well as several top execs in Microsoft, want Tony Bates for the job, the company's current executive vice president of Microsoft responsible for Business Development, Strategy and Evangelism.

"Tony is a bold choice that would say a lot to the rest of the tech world that Microsoft is ready to engage. Mulally makes sense only if the board wants a transitional figure, which means it basically doesn't know what to do yet," said one source close to the company.

Another source told AllThingsD that Bates is "the best candidate across all of the various criteria."

At 1:10 PM on Thursday, Microsoft shares dropped 3 percent to $37.78 in New York after dropping as much as 4.5 percent. Ford shares rose 1 percent to $16.78 after rising as much as 1.4 percent, Bloomberg reports.

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
  • g00fysmiley
    will m$ die already... if it wasn't for DirectX being needed for gaming i would love to switch to linux only and leave windows to the history books, to expensive and buggy to be worth bothering with (much like what needs to happen to mac, forget it and go open source)
  • mobrocket
    I run dual boot, but i will say there are somethings that work easier in Windows... Like Plex and reading movies from a seperate drive... its alot easier in windows
  • bee144
    I think Microsoft still has a lot of life left in them. What all these silly consumers on here don't realize is that Microsoft is huge in the corporate world and even if their consumer end fails, they still will function as an enterprise provider.