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

  • 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.
  • Previous: Nokia-Microsoft deal approved
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Comments (8)
  • wigit5
    , contributor
    Comments (4222) | Send Message
    19 Nov 2013, 01:28 PM Reply Like
    , contributor
    Comments (2016) | Send Message
    MSFT has had a caretaker CEO for 10 years. Why would they frame Mullaly as that?? I thought they wanted to move fast and make things happen. No horse in the race....just asking
    19 Nov 2013, 01:29 PM Reply Like
  • Derek A. Barrett
    , contributor
    Comments (3534) | Send Message
    I think this situation would sort of be like when you get a rookie athlete, who has loads of ability but lacks fundamentals, you need a seasoned mentor figure to bring him along on the court (learn to read the defense, learn core plays and know when to improvise) and off the court (stay away from parties, groupies, drugs, money leeches) for a couple of years until he can come into his own.


    It looks like Mulally was already doing this for Ballmer with the reorg advice and lessons on teamwork, but looks like it was too late by then.


    I've come to know several mentors over the past few years with my investing and it's made a world of difference. They have been down the path and can guide steadily and know what to expect and how to handle it and so always know what to do. It actually sped up the process because I got a shortcut around some of the hard lessons.


    Good point though, I think Mulally can make some core changes very quickly by establishing the right tone and by setting expectations with the current product mix.


    Modern leadership that focuses too much on metrics always underestimates what a great leader can do simply by bringing the right tone and culture with them. That spills over everywhere and changes the way people think and motivates them.


    Once that is in place you can then bring the second guy on, who hopefully by then has a couple years of guidance under his belt and can start the more disruptive stuff.


    Really I think Microsoft is in an amazing position of having these huge cash cows but at the same time that gives them the ability and safety to branch off in new directions.
    19 Nov 2013, 01:49 PM Reply Like
  • krames
    , contributor
    Comments (176) | Send Message
    Changing of the guard. Microsoft is one of the best company's in the world and has been on this stage since the 80's. They are not going anywhere. They are a threat to take that top spot over again.
    19 Nov 2013, 01:31 PM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (5223) | Send Message
    Caretaker? Caretaker? Seriously? That would almost certainly draw a "yeah ... no thanks" from the likes of Alan Mulally. He's not the sort who would sit around as a figurehead.


    If that is the sort of leader MS is after, they might as well assign it back to Bill Gates. Aside from the paycheck, who else would want such an irrelevant and powerless job?
    19 Nov 2013, 01:56 PM Reply Like
  • Heinz Doofenshmirtz
    , contributor
    Comments (303) | Send Message
    Ahhh.. me?
    19 Nov 2013, 02:16 PM Reply Like
  • Arthur Fisher
    , contributor
    Comments (264) | Send Message
    Sounds like a formula for a real crack-up.
    19 Nov 2013, 02:41 PM Reply Like
  • Ruffdog
    , contributor
    Comments (2048) | Send Message
    Mullaly could get the corporate structure correct and in 3 years when he retires, my money would be on Amy Reid.
    19 Nov 2013, 03:47 PM Reply Like
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