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.