Microsoft puts Ericsson's CEO Hans Vestberg in the running for top job

Microsoft puts Ericsson's CEO Hans Vestberg in the running for top job

Summary: Ericsson's chief exec Hans Vestberg, is now under consideration in Microsoft's slower than expected hunt for a successor to Steve Ballmer.

TOPICS: Microsoft

Ericsson's CEO Hans Vestberg has been named as one of the candidates Microsoft's board is considering as a successor to outgoing chief exec Steve Ballmer.

2014-01-16 10.30.09 am
Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg

With Ford's CEO lan Mulally now out of the picture, Microsoft's slower than expected hunt for a new CEO has produced the unexpected candidate. Vestberg, CEO of the Swedish network vendor since 2010, at 48 is a decade younger than Ballmer.

According to Bloomberg, people familiar with Microsoft's CEO search said Vestberg is being considering alongside other candidates, such as former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop and Microsoft's current cloud head, Satya Nadella.

In December Microsoft said it had narrowed the list of candidates down to 20 individuals, and that it expected to announce the new CEO in early 2014.

Since then, one of the tipped favourite successors, former VMware chief Paul Maritz, also a former Microsoft exec, has bowed out of the race. Others still thought to be in contention include former Skype boss Tony Bates, and Microsoft chief operating officer Kevin Turner.

Bloomberg notes that Ericsson's shares have risen 19 percent under Vestberg. 

Vestberg also oversaw the separation of the company's 10-year mobile devices joint venture with Sony under the Sony Ericsson brand, which was originally established to take on Nokia. 

Last September, Ericsson, second only to Huawei in the network equipment market, completed the acquisition of Microsoft's Mediaroom IPTV, integrating it in the unit that helps carriers monetise TV content.

More on Microsoft's next CEO

Topic: Microsoft

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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  • Microsoft is looking in all the wrong places

    Microsoft is looking at the usual business types. MBA business qualifications etc.

    Microsoft won't be able to find the visionary it needs, because it doesn't know where to look.

    If Steve Jobs was unknown, and he rolled up for one of these job interviews, blue jeans, unshaven, no management qualifications.... he wouldn't get the job. But this is the sort of person Microsoft needs, and it won't know where to find them.
    • Well…...

      Yeah, I see your point, but……..not everyone who shows up for an interview in jeans, unshaven, and no qualifications is another Steve Jobs, ya know?
  • Mocrosoft should just do away with the CEO position

    The company will run fine without one and they don't really do much anyway. If they need some help deciding on something they can just post an article here for the best advice available.
    • So who would be in charge?

      You can do away with the title (which is of relatively recent origin; the traditional one is "President"), but in the end, someone (either an individual or a committee) has to direct the day to day affairs of the company.
      John L. Ries