Seeking Alpha

WSJ: Microsoft board divided on CEO search

  • As it searches for Steve Ballmer's replacement, Microsoft's (MSFT) board is divided over whether the person should be a tech visionary/expert or a seasoned exec skilled at running a large organization, the WSJ reports.
  • At least eight outsiders and two internal candidates have reportedly been approached, including Alan Mulally, Stephen Elop, Oracle president/ex-H-P CEO Mark Hurd (said to be uninterested), Infor CEO Charles Phillips, server/cloud chief Satya Nadella, and Skype chief Tony Bates.
  • If it's any comfort to the board, pundits appear just as divided on which direction Microsoft should go, as evidenced by the reactions to a report Mulally is the frontrunner to be Microsoft's next CEO.
  • Bloomberg recently reported the board wants to name a new CEO by year's end.
Comments (21)
  • montlakeal
    , contributor
    Comments (121) | Send Message
     
    I hope they select Alan Mulally.
    12 Oct 2013, 03:22 PM Reply Like
  • Derek A. Barrett
    , contributor
    Comments (3534) | Send Message
     
    Agreed, Mulally is the man.

     

    Sorry but not a fan of Hurd's slash and burn style so glad he was not interested.
    12 Oct 2013, 03:32 PM Reply Like
  • kata
    , contributor
    Comments (600) | Send Message
     
    Lets face it, only Gates can do it. He knows the company. He knows technology. He can bring in a whole new management team in specific areas after redefining the future. That's what its really about. Redefining the company. He's the visionary. He always has been. Ballmer was great at what he did, he wasn't great at what he didn't do. And that was almost miss mobile, almost miss social, and miss some of the cloud. And they certainly could shore up their marketing but that's another story. The part of the cloud they got was terrific. They need to continue developing the ecosystem that feeds all of the moving parts. And if some of them don't fit, they need to be spun off. And they need to do it quickly and not let it become a distraction. Too many distractions over the past ten years. If Gates doesn't want it, he should let go and hand it off. He knows who can handle it.
    12 Oct 2013, 03:38 PM Reply Like
  • keentolearn
    , contributor
    Comments (129) | Send Message
     
    Alan Mulally. would be best considering the revival of Ford.
    12 Oct 2013, 05:22 PM Reply Like
  • Ruffdog
    , contributor
    Comments (1611) | Send Message
     
    But MSFT does not need a revival, it just needs to keep increasing earnings and dividends.
    13 Oct 2013, 10:00 AM Reply Like
  • Nettligent
    , contributor
    Comments (1351) | Send Message
     
    Nobody is better than Steve Ballmer. Microsoft should consider to keep him as CEO with MBA degree from prestigious university, experience, smart, intelligent, aggressive, etc. for the next 4 years.
    Most important of all Steve Ballmer is a visionary and seansonal. There are many technical experts at Microsoft.
    12 Oct 2013, 07:54 PM Reply Like
  • Kraken
    , contributor
    Comments (548) | Send Message
     
    Typical Mark Hurd Strategy:

     

    1. Fire everyone
    2. Pay yourself and other execs in tons of stock options
    3. Fire more people
    4. Brag about higher earnings even though you had no revenue growth

     

    The end.
    12 Oct 2013, 10:02 PM Reply Like
  • samuel_liu
    , contributor
    Comments (2799) | Send Message
     
    I bought HPQ b/c of Hurd then the myopic board, kicking him off ...

     

    (By the way a church I was going to in Palo Alto were many HP current/former employees-- I doubt anyone could be more disliked than Gates/Ballmer, that would be one I would be supportive of pressuring Gates to retire wholly.

     

    Hurd would have the Corporate respect to maintain and grow enterprise sales; while better facilitating MSFT to a control-alternate-delete.

     

    Mullay sounds good but to bet his age doesn't seem to last bet on a decade horizon.
    13 Oct 2013, 09:11 AM Reply Like
  • Ruffdog
    , contributor
    Comments (1611) | Send Message
     
    "...were many HP current/former employees-- I doubt anyone could be more disliked than Gates/Ballmer..." of course MSFT is not a silicone valley company so why would anyone there like them? No surprise here.
    13 Oct 2013, 10:03 AM Reply Like
  • Mking30
    , contributor
    Comments (140) | Send Message
     
    ok.....
    12 Oct 2013, 10:03 PM Reply Like
  • Bailout2009
    , contributor
    Comments (232) | Send Message
     
    Hire me....I know what to do...
    13 Oct 2013, 12:28 AM Reply Like
  • lucido3400
    , contributor
    Comments (54) | Send Message
     
    Car business is a dinosaur business compared to what MSFT is involved with. MSFT needs a tech visionary. But unfortunately visionaries create their own companies. Therefore MSFT should look for THE visionary Chief Executive Officer in their own staff.
    13 Oct 2013, 07:22 AM Reply Like
  • jagpinto
    , contributor
    Comment (1) | Send Message
     
    Agree with lucido. A current Microsofter will know the company and will be more efficient at effecting change.
    13 Oct 2013, 08:59 AM Reply Like
  • june1234
    , contributor
    Comments (2655) | Send Message
     
    Former USC head coach Lane Kiffin is looking for a job. He even told ESPN he was sorry yest. Whoever the next MS CEO is he needs to be a non MS used car salesman unlike the current one
    13 Oct 2013, 08:56 AM Reply Like
  • Ruffdog
    , contributor
    Comments (1611) | Send Message
     
    The best for Mr. Softie would be for Alan Mulally to sign a 2 year contract develop a new strategic plan and vision for the future and by the end of 2 years he and gates have groomed a new techie CEO that could then take MSFT and its stock to triple digits.
    13 Oct 2013, 10:08 AM Reply Like
  • samuel_liu
    , contributor
    Comments (2799) | Send Message
     
    that was what Ray Ozzie was for Msft but after 4 years he took off ...

     

    thanks Ballmer, it is not always about the money.

     

    Hopefully the Great Oz can inspire HPQ

     

    Long: Msft, HPQ
    13 Oct 2013, 11:03 AM Reply Like
  • Derek A. Barrett
    , contributor
    Comments (3534) | Send Message
     
    Ruffdog, not a bad plan, thought I'd extend that for 5-7 years

     

    Bring Elop up as a strategic senior executive, and then pass the reigns to him after.

     

    You can rely on a strong CTO to do the visionary stuff while keeping a disciplined CEO like Mulally or Elop at the helm.
    13 Oct 2013, 02:49 PM Reply Like
  • Ruffdog
    , contributor
    Comments (1611) | Send Message
     
    Derek, I think that Alan Mulally is 69 yo? 5-7 years may be too long but we agree.
    14 Oct 2013, 02:50 PM Reply Like
  • apppp
    , contributor
    Comments (382) | Send Message
     
    nobody wants the job.
    13 Oct 2013, 12:28 PM Reply Like
  • kata
    , contributor
    Comments (600) | Send Message
     
    Its a hard job to redefine Msft for the next gen. I'm sure it wont be about money. It will be the challenge. Ballmer knew it was time and imo, did a very good job laying the groundwork but they need a visionary with executive experience. Someone with their head in the cloud and their feet on the ground. It sure wasn't Ray Ozzie or Steve Sinofsky.

     

    No small feat for a tech company this large with as many interests and as many employees around the world. Lots of moving parts. And remember, that person or persons don't have to come from the USA. After all, Msft is a multinational co. There are great candidates around the world. That said, I still think Gates, if he were interested, could do it best. If he is not interested, he should let someone else be the visionary and move on.
    13 Oct 2013, 04:47 PM Reply Like
  • StepUp
    , contributor
    Comments (471) | Send Message
     
    Please please please - not Hurd.
    14 Oct 2013, 12:37 PM Reply Like
DJIA (DIA) S&P 500 (SPY)
ETF Tools
Find the right ETFs for your portfolio:
Seeking Alpha's new ETF Hub
ETF Investment Guide:
Table of Contents | One Page Summary
Read about different ETF Asset Classes:
ETF Selector