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Ford's Alan Mulally Could Be Next Microsoft CEO

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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  • sykozis
    How exactly is he qualified to run a software company?
    Reply
  • Galvin
    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.
    Reply
  • dvo
    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.
    Reply
  • dvo
    .. for some reason I accidentally double posted. I found a way to edit but not a way to delete.. sorry.
    Reply
  • Tuishimi
    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.
    Reply
  • Jonathan Tucker
    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.
    Reply
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    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.
    Reply
  • nbelote
    11617575 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.
    Reply
  • jhansonxi
    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.
    Reply
  • bustapr
    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.
    Reply