Microsoft CEO drumbeat picks up for Nadella as CEO

Summary:The good news about naming Nadella CEO would be that he knows Microsoft's culture well.


The saga that is Microsoft's CEO search appears to be pushing Satya Nadella, the company's enterprise and cloud leader, as a front runner to succeed Steve Ballmer.

According to Bloomberg and Re/Code Nadella is the front runner to take over as CEO. No one is citing named sources, but Microsoft did say it was expecting to name a new CEO early in 2014.

Microsoft won't comment on the reports. 

Leading Microsoft is apparently the job that no one is jumping for. Microsoft has looked at its own execs such as executive vice president Tony Bates and Kevin Turner, operating chief. The company also apparently wooed Ford CEO Alan Mulally as well as Qualcomm CEO on deck Steve Mollenkopf.

Also:  CEO candidate Nadella: Here's what Ballmer taught me

The good news about naming Nadella CEO would be that he knows Microsoft's culture well. He also knows Microsoft's enterprise business and that unit is what carries the company despite the software giant's love affair with Xbox, Bing, Surface and now Nokia.

What's unclear about all of these CEO stories is what happens with Bill Gates. Gates' future involvement with Microsoft is likely to be a sticky issue with any new CEO. Bloomberg said Gates may step aside. In any case, who wants to run Microsoft looking over his or her shoulder to see what Gates thinks? Perhaps Nadella won't mind. 

Topics: Enterprise Software, Microsoft


Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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