AllThingsD: Mulally still top Microsoft CEO candidate, would act as "caretaker"

|By:, SA News Editor

Sources tell AllThingsD Ford's (F -0.6%) Alan Mulally is still the top candidate (previous) to become Microsoft's (MSFT -0.9%) next CEO. However, the site adds Mulally (if chosen) would act as a "caretaker" paving the way for one of several internal candidates to eventually take the helm.

Enterprise/cloud chief Satya Nadella, who headed a Server & Tools unit that was arguably Microsoft's biggest success story over the last decade, is said to be the top pick to be groomed for the top job. But COO Kevin Turner, ex-Skype CEO Tony Bates, and Stephen Elop are also said to be in the running.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is holding its annual meeting today. The departing Steve Ballmer defended his company's investments in Xbox and Bing (a successor might have a different take), which some analysts/investors have called on the software giant to unload. He also took responsibility for the massive aQuantive write-down, but defended his willingness to make big acquisitions.

In what's arguably another sign he's more engaged at Microsoft, Bill Gates appeared at the meeting. Gates' appearances at Microsoft events have been very limited in recent years.

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