Microsoft is said to have narrowed its search for a new chief executive down to two remaining candidates, according to a report by Bloomberg.
The site said unnamed sources within Microsoft revealed that the selection process for the new chief has now centred on the current chief executive of Ford Alan Mulally, and Microsoft’s own executive vice president for its Cloud and Enterprise group Satya Nadella.
This would mean former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop and Skype chief Tony Bates have been left behind in the hunt for a successor to Steve Ballmer, who announced his intention to step down earlier this year.
Mulally’s name has been touted from the start as his role at the top of Ford since 2006 means he appears well qualified for the challenges of running an organisation as large and complex as Microsoft.
Nadella’s internal position may work in his favour, though, as he will already be familiar with the company’s day-to-day life and working methods. However, if Microsoft is seeking to radically overhaul its position and perception in the market this could, conversely, go against him.
Whoever does succeed faces a tough job, after Microsoft’s founder and first chief executive Bill Gates underlined the scale of the challenge facing the successful candidate earlier this month.
“It's a complex, global business that the new CEO will have to lead. And they'll have to drive across fundamental transitions to create new growth and to attract and manage top talent,” Gates said at the firm's annual shareholder meeting.
“We'll have to build on our strengths while addressing areas that we've got weaknesses or challenges. The person has to have a lot of comfort in leading a highly technical organisation and have an ability to work with our top technical talent to seize the opportunities.”
Ballmer recently admitted he was holding Microsoft back as the firm looks to reinvent itself for the new market and the challenges it brings.
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