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Ballmer's leaving: Who's next?

Steve Ballmer said he's leaving his CEO position Microsoft in a year, but there's no real frontrunner for his succession. Here's our top 10 contenders.
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1 of 10 Andy Smith/ZDNet

Kevin Turner

Microsoft Steve Ballmer announced that he is stepping down from his position as CEO — one that he has held for 13 years. The first question we all have is who will be his successor? Ballmer hasn't appeared to be preparing anyone specifically for the job so Mary Jo Foley has put this list together.

One of the names most prominently is current COO Kevin Turner. He was the frontrunner at one point but his stock his fallen recently.

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2 of 10 Andy Smith/ZDNet

Tony Bates

 Microsoft acquired Tony Bates along with its purchase of Skype. He's been running Skype and has moved up the ranks recently as the head of business development and evangelism. Mary Jo Foley says he's near the top.

 

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3 of 10 Andy Smith/ZDNet

Tami Reller

Tami Reller is a 12-year veteran of Microsoft and is Executive VP of Marketing for the Windows team.

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4 of 10 Andy Smith/ZDNet

Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella has the advantage of having served in several management positions aorund Microsoft and is now president of the Server and Tools Business.

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5 of 10 Andy Smith/ZDNet

Stephen Elop

Before taking over as CEO of Nokia in 2010, Stephen Elop served as president of the Microsoft Business Division. Elop and Ballmer inked a major partnership to make Nokia prime partner for Windows phones.

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6 of 10 Andy Smith/ZDNet

Stephen Sinofsky

Stephen Sinofsky former head of Windows left on his own or was booted the company in 2012 after disappointment with his pet project Windows 8. However, he is capable. Can he do what Steve Jobs did upon his return to Apple?

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7 of 10 Andy Smith/ZDNet

Kevin Johnson

Kevin Johnson has retired twice already. Once from Juniper Networks and once from Microsoft. He did run Platforms and Services for Microsoft before he left.

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8 of 10 Andy Smith/ZDNet

Terry Myerson

Windows Phone VP Terry Myerson is a potential candidate. He recently made news when he said his company didn't need to build a Windows phone.

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9 of 10 Andy Smith/ZDNet

Julie Larson-Green

Microsoft has employed several females in their management level including Julie Larson-Green who is  executive vice president, devices and studios.

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10 of 10 Andy Smith/ZDNet

Qi Lu

Qi Lu's stock is on the rise. He's been head of Microsoft's Online Services Division, is now chief of the new Applications and Services group in the most recent reorg. Lu is in charge of engineering for Bing, MSN, Office 365, Office servers (Exchange, SharePoint, Lync) and clients, Dynamics CRM and ERP, Skype and Yammer.

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