Microsoft won't name new CEO until early 2014

Microsoft won't name new CEO until early 2014

Summary: Microsoft won't be announcing the CEO successor to Steve Ballmer until the 'early part of 2014,' officials said today.


Microsoft won't be announcing the name of its next CEO until early 2014.


That's the word from the head of the CEO Search Committee and Board Member John W. Thompson.

While many of us Microsoft watchers had been hearing talk that Microsoft would name its new CEO before this year was out, that's not happening, after all.

From Thompson's December 17 update on "The Official Microsoft Blog":

"We identified over 100 possible candidates, talked with several dozen, and then focused our energy intensely on a group of about 20 individuals, all extremely impressive in their own right. As you would expect, as this group has narrowed, we’ve done deeper research and investigation, including with the full Board. We’re moving ahead well, and I expect we’ll complete our work in the early part of 2014."

In August, Microsoft announced Ballmer would be retiring within a year's time

Ballmer said in August that the Microsoft board had been discussing succession planning for the past 10 years.

"I'd say three or four years ago, I agreed to a project with the board where I would meet a bunch of people outside Microsoft who we should have on our radar screen as, you know, potential interesting people outside of Microsoft who might become CEO, and I've reported back to the board on those interactions," Ballmer told me in August.

There have been plenty of rumors since August about who might be on the next Microsoft CEO short list. Among those allegedly (and maybe even actually)  in the running have been Ford CEO Alan Mullally, Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner, Microsoft Cloud & Enterprise Chief Satya Nadella, Microsoft Evangelism Chief Tony Bates and Pivotal CEO Paul Maritz. Qualcomm COO Steve Mollenkopf also may have been in the running for the Microsoft CEO job, as he was abruptly appointed Qualcomm CEO after Bloomberg reported he might be a candidate.

There's a special Ford analyst meeting this Wednesday. Supposedly, one goal is to share more definitive information as to whether  Mulally is actively considering the Microsoft CEO job

Topics: Steve Ballmer: The Exit Interview, Microsoft, Leadership


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • They haven't had a CEO for years . . .

    . . . what's a few more days?

    Hopefully, the Board will take Ballmer's input and just do the opposite!
  • Oh, Gold...

    I thought this was decided long before Ballmer announced his retirement. See, Ballmer left in good term that's for sure. And he loves and cares this company for sure. So, he is like I am going, you find someone to replace me. No, I don't think so. It violate both Newton's and Einstein's law of social physics and any law exists. I don't believe it.

    Here is a run down on the list,

    A - Proven Record in managing mega international company
    B - Understanding/experience of Microsoft's Bussiness both Software and hardware,
    and the entire industry as a whole, both enterprise and cosumer space.
    C - Undertsanding of Microsoft as a Company
    D - Understanding of Nokia as a Company
    E - Extensive experience in mobile space
    F - Charisma inside and outside Microsoft
    G - PR skills

    Score scale: 0 - 10

    Mullaly: A-9, B-2, C-3, D-2, E-3, F-8, G-9, score:33 (two old, inexperienced in technology, disqulified)
    Kevin: A-6, B-8, C-8, D-3, E-6, F-7, G-8, score:46 (OK, but not enough)
    Nadella: A-2, B-6, C-8, D-2, E-3, F-5, G-5, score:31 (not qualified, too far)
    Maritz: A-8, B-7, C-8, D-2, E-3, F-7, G-7, score:34 (I don't know)
    Tony: A-5, B-7, C-7, D-2, E-3, F-7, G-7, score:31 (not sure)
    Elop: A-8, B-8, C-7, C-8, F-8, E-8, G-8, score:55 (if not this one, then no one)
    • Elop would be a public relations disaster

      I don't think it will be Mullaly either. If it were, the announcement would probably have come today.
      John L. Ries
      • I want to hear...

        disaster, how?
        • Appointment as MS-CEO...

          ...after turning Nokia into an MS-vassal, losing money hand over fist, and then selling Nokia's mobile device business to MS would look highly suspicious to me (like he was an MS-puppet from the start) and I'm sure I'm not the only one.

          It would be a Nokia shareholder lawsuit waiting to happen.
          John L. Ries
          • Really...

            Many of the Nokia decisions were done before Elop was hired. If they didn't decide to go with Microsoft they wouldn't even hired Elop.

            What I see happened in Nokia is, since Elop they start to produce amazing devices, in a much faster releasing schedule. This never happened before. He didn't reverse the Symbian trend. No one can. What the losing has to do with Elop. You think someone can stop losing money for Nokia? I don't so. As a matter of fact, they are ready achieving overall profitability. Lumia line is rising fast. They are crossing 10% share in Europe. What really happened is: Elop was called to save a sinking Titanic. And he manage to keep it floating. Critics say, when Elop took over they were make money, when he is leaving they are losing it. So, that's Elop's fault?
  • windows 8 sucks

    ballimer loves his company, but not the consumer,,tring to shove windows 8 down the desktop user throats.
    • what does balmer know about love?

      to only things balmer loves is the reflection in his mirror.
  • my vote is for..

    if microsoft is smart they will hire captain crunch.
  • I guess this means...

    That Mr. Mullaly's contract at Ford is not up until early 2014?
  • Guardian: Charles Arthur to be next CEO

    Since Charles Arthurs continues his anti Microsoft rantings in the UK Guardian, as the Tech Editor why not see how he could do the job. He demeans an otherwise great newspaper and journalism as a profession.

    He really is one of the biggest d**ks in the world of Tech Journalism.
    • Errrr

      Maybe it's because Microsoft's stock hasn't done well and he has a single share. so he's p?ssed off. :-)