Ericsson's Vestberg said to rule himself out of Microsoft CEO race

Summary:Following a Bloomberg report trumpeting his name as the next likely candidate to replace Steve Ballmer, Ericsson's CEO reportedly tells his company's board he isn't interested.

vestberg
Image: CNET

"Nope."

A simple enough message Ericsson chief executive Hans Vestberg reportedly wanted his company's board to hear on Wednesday, ruling himself out of the race to One Microsoft Way.

That is, if he was ever in the running in the first place.

The report from Bloomberg, citing a person familiar with the matter, follows almost two weeks after a story in the same publication cited him as Microsoft's choice as the next chief executive of the Redmond, Wash.-based software and services giant.

Vestberg would have been an ideal candidate , considering his experience on the whole. He has worked in almost every part of the business. And, during his continued tenure as boss of the Swedish telecoms firm, shares have risen close to 20 percent.

Microsoft is understood to have gone through a number of external candidates, including Ford chief Alan Mulally  and Qualcomm boss Steve Mollenkopf  — both of which reportedly declined the technology company's top job.

The Windows maker appears to be running out of options.

Next in line, if the rumors and speculation are anything to go by, could be an internal candidate. Microsoft's cloud computing chief Satya Nadella and former Nokia chief executive Steve Elop could still be in for the running.

Current Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said in August he would retire at most 12 months after his announcement.

The search committe's director John Thompson previously indicated that a candidate would be found sometime in the current fiscal quarter, ending March.

We've put in questions to Ericsson, but did not hear back at the time of writing. An Ericsson spokesperson declined to comment to Bloomberg.

Related:

Topics: Microsoft

About

Zack Whittaker writes for ZDNet, CNET, and CBS News. He is based in New York City.

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