Microsoft focusing on Nadella, Mulally as possible CEO


Microsoft's (MSFT) board is reportedly leaning towards choosing senior executive Satya Nadella or Ford CEO (F) Alan Mulally as its replacement for Steve Ballmer.

Nadella is executive VP of cloud and enterprise at Microsoft.

Internal candidate Tony Bates and former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop are still in with a shout, but they're considered less likely to get the job.

The board hopes to make a decision by the end of the year.

From other sites
Comments (29)
  • chrome188
    , contributor
    Comments (79) | Send Message
     
    Clearly the preferred would be Mulally, rather than the same internal candidate who perhaps found their way to high position in the same system which resulted in the CEO resigning
    28 Nov 2013, 06:06 AM Reply Like
  • alpine
    , contributor
    Comments (1995) | Send Message
     
    There is one compelling argument in favour of Mr. Mullaly, and that is that he brings with him a unique, global "brand" which no other can, i.e. that of being a highly respected, kind, devoted, loyal, human(e), fair, corporate figure to deal credibly with clients from all manner of verticals, eg. manufacturing, financial services, govt, FMCG, retail, etc.

     

    Microsoft desperately needs to "leverage" its huge, heretofore unsurpassed integrated, hacker-free technology, scalable "platform" opportunity, from Windows, Office, SQL Server, BI, CRM, Dynamics, Azure, Bing, mobile, Xbox, security, networking, etc quietly, but firmly, across the globe against the likes of IBM, Oracle, SAP, so that "less deserving" contestants such as Google, Apple don't "steal" that crown.

     

    These "Windows" will last another 2-3 years, as most of the anti-trust worries that dogged management (esp. Mr. SB) for so many years, are behind it, and the entire world is crying to be "integrated", cost effectively, securely from the lowly feature phone (ex-Nokia) to the latest and greatest hyperscale servers running Windows for advanced genetic engineering applications, etc.

     

    I vote for Mr. Mullaly, at least the next 3 years, as he can work with the likes of "straight" Mr. Dell, Ms. Whitman, and sadly, "around" the likes of "Machiavellian" Messrs. Ellison/Hurd and Chambers. If some arrangement can be made that Mr. Mullaly is the new "angelic" public face of Microsoft and Mr. Nadella the "positive power within" to gently but rapidly guide the tremendous "force and momentum" of the Microsoft eco-system to work together, they could, in fact, bring what GE claims: "We bring good things to life", all over the world.
    28 Nov 2013, 07:29 AM Reply Like
  • samuel_liu
    , contributor
    Comments (2753) | Send Message
     
    What about also Larry Page, Marrisa Meyers, etc. ...
    28 Nov 2013, 10:54 AM Reply Like
  • ralph111
    , contributor
    Comments (250) | Send Message
     
    I find it unusual when windows is promoted by an ad thru a vegas pawn shop on tv doesnt lend itself to credibility but thats just my poor midwest values - I did go to a pawn shop -Ziffren Loans to buy my first remington shotgun when I was 14 remember it well everybody wore suits they did not need burly guards and were a couple doors down from RKO Theatre and Blackhawk Hotel when there was class in the way legitimate business conducted themselves . This tv ad reminds me of carny hustlers just after your money here today gone tomoro.
    28 Nov 2013, 08:26 AM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (8650) | Send Message
     
    I just don't see how MS and the Media can keep insisting that Mulally is the lead candidate to take on some sort of "stewardship" or "custodial" role at Microsoft, while Ford and Mulally can keep insisting that Mulally will remain "at least through 2014" and that Mulally remains "happy to serve our Ford Motor Company".

     

    Will there be a bidding war for Mulally's services? It is not like Mulally is in some sort of free agency period, like a major league baseball player at the end of a contract, ready to hop over to any new team that bids the highest salary and benefits and guarantees a starting spot in the lineup. I mean if he was, then there would be fifty other blue chip companies trying to bid multi-year, hundred-million dollar salaries to try to snap him out of Ford's clutches.

     

    Ford has some deep pockets right now, and will make sure Mulally is paid a competitive wage and benefit package to keep him in-house. His total compensation in 2012 was about $21M ... about $1.4M in base salary, $9.5M in stock awards, and another $10M in options to buy more shares at roughly half the market price. Interestingly his Board of Directors' defined compensation in 2011 was significantly higher - almost $30M - than 2012. Top executive compensation actually fell in 2012, because Ford failed to meet certain corporate performance metrics targets on quality and profitability.

     

    Anyway chances are Mulally's 2013 total compensation at Ford's will come in around $25-30M, based on improved financial and production metrics, and solid progress in fixing Europe and expansion in Asia and the rest of the world. Which means Microsoft would probably have to be offering something like $50M if not more. Changes are Ford would drop out of the hypothetical bidding war somewhere in the $60M range to get him to stay.
    28 Nov 2013, 08:54 AM Reply Like
  • alpine
    , contributor
    Comments (1995) | Send Message
     
    I do suspect Mr. Mullaly (and indeed the Board of Ford) will not "play" the $s game, instead any change in his career will be made after a responsible, well considered, balanced transition at both Ford as well as Microsoft. Such I "feel" are why he left Boeing in the first place to join the Ford "family", and now, at the right time, will leave Ford, if that eventually pans out, to Microsoft, where his real "heart" lies.....lots of lakes, old friends, his church perhaps, plenty of rain, less snow, more "brain" and less "steely brawn" required in the automotive industry, and of course, the Seattle needle must beckon him still.
    28 Nov 2013, 09:14 AM Reply Like
  • 192492
    , contributor
    Comments (9) | Send Message
     
    Mulally helped turn Ford around in 5 years. Msft does not need another insider like Ballmer was. A fresh approach by a person with vision, ideas should be the CEO There are many qualified tech people to assist a CEO such as Mulally. A CEO from msft will send a bad signal to shareholders
    28 Nov 2013, 09:40 AM Reply Like
  • ekin09
    , contributor
    Comments (172) | Send Message
     
    I like Satya Nadella as co-ceo with Mullaly
    28 Nov 2013, 11:49 AM Reply Like
  • ekin09
    , contributor
    Comments (172) | Send Message
     
    Steve Ballmer should not reflect the rest of the company. MSFT has bright minds, and once SB is out MSFT will flourish.
    28 Nov 2013, 11:53 AM Reply Like
  • Ruffdog
    , contributor
    Comments (3392) | Send Message
     
    Steve Ballmer was a great CEO, he increased earning 10 fold, raised the dividend to 3.2% and accumulated a hoard of cash. Any candidate should be chomping at the bit to take over such a well positioned company!
    28 Nov 2013, 01:32 PM Reply Like
  • Trade In Mexico
    , contributor
    Comments (1013) | Send Message
     
    Ruffdog, what do you say to people who believe that Ballmer missed the massive opportunities in social networking, mobile, and search????
    28 Nov 2013, 02:29 PM Reply Like
  • RicJensen
    , contributor
    Comments (3567) | Send Message
     
    Agreed Ballmer was a continuing disaster for M$. Both he and Gates had no clear vision of technology. Virtually all of their successful technology was stolen, purchased or duplicated and in the case of the Xbox ...losing money big time. If it weren't for a virtual monopoly on the OS/office they would be dead.

     

    Here are a couple of my favorites...
    GATES: Computer Memory: 640K Ought to be Enough for Anyone
    BALLMER: "Google...not a real company, it's a house of cards."
    BALLMER:"There is no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share.
    29 Nov 2013, 12:55 PM Reply Like
  • samuel_liu
    , contributor
    Comments (2753) | Send Message
     
    RIJENSEN:

     

    Yeah you are a genius.
    29 Nov 2013, 01:06 PM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (8650) | Send Message
     
    It is pretty weird that Microsoft shows so very little concern for customer service or the quality of their products and services, being perfectly content to send hourly "security updates", along with other daily, weekly, or monthly "important" and "optional" updates; and yet we still have blue screens of death.

     

    And they want to put that crap in your cell phone and car?
    29 Nov 2013, 01:23 PM Reply Like
  • Derek A. Barrett
    , contributor
    Comments (3554) | Send Message
     
    Bill Gates never said that 640K line. It is a completely fabricated quote:

     

    http://wrd.cm/1cePqLW
    1 Dec 2013, 12:23 AM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (8650) | Send Message
     
    ... well, to be fair, he denies having said it. This does not, in and of itself, mean he never said it.

     

    Murderers and rapists and thieves and even US Presidents deny having done the deed all the time to the media and authorities. And personally I have denied having said things, either accidentally from forgetting. or on purpose to avoid trouble, and later was found to have done so. Remember, the context or exact wording was important: remember ... "it depends on what the meaning of "is" is."

     

    Anyway in the case of Bill Gates, we are talking about 1981 here. The IBM PC had just become available as an office computer with MS-DOS (remember "A:command.exe" and "A:format B: /V"?) with a whopping 16kB memory with expensive expansion to 256kB, and two 160k single sided floppy discs, starting at $1,565 and change.

     

    If you waited a couple of years into 1983 and got the upgraded PC-XT with a whopping 10MB internal hard drive and memory expansion to an incredible 640kB, you were the star of the office. That is, quite literally, all anyone could imagine ever needing - the dream package that could do anything imaginable. Having a modem to transfer data with another computer across town was an astounding feat that avoided mailing stuff on a floppy disc.

     

    Meanwhile, the first MS Windows with a very primitive GUI didn't come available until 1985, and that was only because of Apple's Macintosh getting the jump on such things in 1984. Sensible scientists and engineers saw the Mac as an expensive toy computer for non-serious work. That is, until the first ones started showing up in offices with an HP Laserjet printer and all those wonderful PostScript fonts for typesetting and report publishing type work. Now that was something to impress the Boss with.

     

    Bill Gates and Microsoft had to be absolutely dragged, kicking and screaming and swearing, into mouse-driven GUI for office and home PCs. Gates said a LOT of things in the early 1980s, some of which the people that were in the conference room or nearby heard, and they still remember it. Bill Gates' denials notwithstanding. Lots of people said lots of crazy things in the early 1980s, before there was an internet. Lots of people heard it, and quoted it. Lots of people deny saying and doing silly things in the 1980s. Big deal.
    1 Dec 2013, 08:10 AM Reply Like
  • RicJensen
    , contributor
    Comments (3567) | Send Message
     
    It wasn't made up. He said it in response to a reporter who asked him about a possible weakness in the operating system. It was all over USENET within days, he never denied it until MUCH later. For years the story stayed the same. Until it became obvious what a blunder it was to say such a thing. Then the Gates "explanation" came out.

     

    He built a hard limit into the kernel and didn't think about Moore's Law or future expansion. That despite anything else is obvious.
    1 Dec 2013, 09:16 AM Reply Like
  • RicJensen
    , contributor
    Comments (3567) | Send Message
     
    Tdot, right you are....Gates didn't catch on to the GUI systems until after Apple adopted it. I worked at Xerox when the Star system was developed. It was responsible for the mouse and Icon, directory, the file as we know it, the print function, WYSIWYG, Ethernet and internetwork routing. I can still remember coring out Ethernet cables and clamping on transceivers then running cables to the transceivers. It was more like plumbing than computing. Luckily tokens went away and as usual Xerox failed to market an incredible idea correctly. I also was on the launch team for the first commercially viable laser printer, the 9700. It had it's own closet sized controller, bigger than a double sided frig. It held a PDP computer, CDC hard drive, reel tape system and interface panel for all the cables. Now all of that can be put on a small card.
    1 Dec 2013, 09:35 AM Reply Like
  • Seppo Sahrakorpi
    , contributor
    Comments (2146) | Send Message
     
    @rij Hindsight is 20/20. At the time Gates put the hard limit in place he had no way knowing that his creation was going to 1) last so long, 2) conquer the world. Smart engineers, particularly in early / start-up phase focus on the relevant and fix things later only as needed, just to get a functional, competitive (but not perfect) product out. If you over engineer something in anticipation of everything possible, you never get anything out the door or in time.
    1 Dec 2013, 10:48 AM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (8650) | Send Message
     
    No denying that. The point is, there were lots of assumptions made some 30 years ago, and things said that were sensible then if silly now. Few to no people could have imagined the current state of computers and software and the internet, way back then. Even the most elaborate imaginative Science Fiction computers and systems and software as shown in Star Trek and Star Wars (etc.) 30 years ago, presumed to represent hundreds of years into the future, can't hold a candle to a simple cell phone today. What will it be like 30 years from now?
    1 Dec 2013, 01:05 PM Reply Like
  • Derek A. Barrett
    , contributor
    Comments (3554) | Send Message
     
    If you guys can provide a credible source for that 640K quote, I will believe it, until then, it's just an unfounded rumor.

     

    Due diligence please.
    1 Dec 2013, 04:38 PM Reply Like
  • RicJensen
    , contributor
    Comments (3567) | Send Message
     
    Derek,
    I'm trying to apply something more accurate than a "quote". Gates didn't do anything about the 640k barrier until Win 2. No matter what you believe or say he didn't fix it for YEARS. So even if he didn't say it.....HE did it.

     

    But to some people logic doesn't matter.

     

    Diligence done....
    2 Dec 2013, 07:22 AM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (8650) | Send Message
     
    To be fair, it was a hard limit in the hardware, and at the time folks were perfectly happy with it. That was 30 years ago.

     

    As an interesting analogue, ten years ago the Intel Pentium 4 based motherboards could physically handle up to 4GB RAM, and that's all the Windows XP and Vista operating systems could handle at the time. Who knew that anyone needed more than that?
    2 Dec 2013, 08:00 AM Reply Like
  • Derek A. Barrett
    , contributor
    Comments (3554) | Send Message
     
    It doesn't really matter about the hardware limits, the issue I have is if you're going to cite someone with quotes around something they said it needs a reference, otherwise it's just a rumor.

     

    If you have a newspaper article or a video of him with the actual quote I would be satisfied.

     

    That Wired article from 1997 is an example of due diligence.

     

    Mainstream publications that have been around for a while typically have a reputation to uphold and will fact check more than a bunch of guys on USENET mad at Bill Gates.
    2 Dec 2013, 01:22 PM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (8650) | Send Message
     
    You are completely (and apparently deliberately) missing the point that in the context of the late 1970s and early 1980s, where a 160kB single sided floppy disc was a huge improvement on the Atari and Commodore 64, that a 640kB RAM capacity was considered a whopping big amount of memory.

     

    Probably everyone in the computer industry, including Gates, not to mention common users, assumed 640kB was more than any one person would ever need access to at a time, and the software available at the time certainly supported that thesis.

     

    Believe it or not, some of us were actually around and actively involved in the early 1980s to enjoy those very early days of personal computers, and many of us actually remember such things being said routinely, no bulls#!t, in conversing amongst ourselves and in discussions the literature. It appears you were not around yet to witness it, so of course you cannot fathom such preposterous assumptions being made.

     

    Just because you and others have found no "reliable" witnesses to Gates saying it some 30 years ago, does not mean he never discussed it or even conceded it. People do remember it, but no amount of "proof" would satisfy it (or you), because it is by definition "hear-say", and the subject in question (Gates) is denying it now, or at least not admitting to it.

     

    The only proof that would satisfy is if a copy of one of the hundreds of Computer-related magazines from that 30-year-ago time frame were to emerge complete with an interview of Gates or a random quote where he says it. Good luck finding it. But even then it seems doubtful you would accept that, because you would have to see it for yourself, and then get the thing authenticated, and then dig up the dead author to verify that is what he wrote. And then confronting Gates to say - "oh yeah - I guess I did say that".

     

    The point is, the absence of "proof" is NOT proof of absence. It was a perfectly normal thing to think back in the day, and everyone was thinking it. Nobody thought that personal computers would be where they are now, back then. Well maybe Steve Jobs did. That's about it.
    3 Dec 2013, 08:28 AM Reply Like
  • Derek A. Barrett
    , contributor
    Comments (3554) | Send Message
     
    Sorry but I've been using the product since MS DOS 2.1 and remember our family buying a 64KB memory add-on to our PC-JR that you had to plugin to the wall and the thing always overheated. I am well aware of modifying autoexec.bat and config.sys because of memory tuning issues.

     

    So you can't claim to speak for the entire tech community back then, pretense aside.

     

    Please provide a citation the next time you want to quote someone. It's called the concept of burden of proof, if you are going to claim something very specific you need to back that up with documentation. People are not going to take your word for it and especially undermines your credibility when you have ill will towards the person you are claiming said the quote. Otherwise it's just heresy.

     

    "Bill Gates lied" - Tdot

     

    Would you appreciate me going around telling people that?

     

    By the way why are you in a Microsoft thread on an investing site anyway complaining about a decades-old software spec? You could have been selling MSFT puts and making money.

     

    Go to Slashdot and complain there to your heart's content. This is a pretty absurd topic to be complaining about anyway.

     

    When you find that 30 year old magazine please let me know.
    3 Dec 2013, 01:31 PM Reply Like
  • Tdot
    , contributor
    Comments (8650) | Send Message
     
    Nobody, including me, could care in the least significant bit what you would go around telling people. Ever. And yes, we know that was a pun.

     

    But by all means, please continue to ignore the point, and continue to compulsively obsess over demanding "proof", which is also pretty absurd to be complaining about.
    3 Dec 2013, 01:39 PM Reply Like
  • RicJensen
    , contributor
    Comments (3567) | Send Message
     
    T,.... true it was a hardware limit set by IBM as a template for the PC (8086). Gates mother set up a meeting with IBM's CEO and a few weeks later they inked a deal to develop PC-DOS (1980-81). PC-DOS carried the design limit. It was then impossible to change without losing downward compatibility. If they (IBM) had gone with the Motorola 6800 we would not be having this conversation.

     

    MS-DOS first version 2 carried this limitation (1983ish) right up until the AT (80286) came out. (Even though the hardware was no longer a limit). This is the basis of why it doesn't matter what Gates says. What matters is what he did. That condemns him much more than the handful of times he said dumb things about the 640K limit. All of the boards where full of the news as early as he said it much earlier (80's) than the 1990 InfoWorld article where he was quoted and it caught fire. This is like arguing that the wheel was invented at 5:30 or 6:30. It doesn't matter...it exists and that is proof.

     

    To this very day M$ suffers from a lack of understanding technology and the future. DLL hell is a great example. The kernel is STILL monolithic and can be ravaged by viruses. Apple knew better and changed over to BSD to have a platform to protect it and scale to the future.

     

    M$ had only the OS and Office monopoly and it has been downhill ever since that. Remember the TV top that everyone would use. The failed phone. They had to give away Explorer to get people to use it and Navigator still hung in there for years. (Where was the anti-trust on that one).

     

    Gates had a connected mother who helped him sell his OS (which he didn't write, (he bought it from SCP) to IBM.

     

    Without that critical monopoly requiring PC vendors to use M$ we wouldn't be in this mess.
    2 Dec 2013, 09:59 AM Reply Like
  • JerryofNC
    , contributor
    Comments (1959) | Send Message
     
    I own and watch both F and MSFT and I'm not a Mulally fan. I think he was simply in the right place at the right time and his performance could have been matched by a thousand others for a whole lot less money. I've seen too many tech companies hurt by bringing in outside experts who don't know beans about tech.
    3 Dec 2013, 10:03 AM Reply Like
DJIA (DIA) S&P 500 (SPY)
ETF Hub
ETF Screener: Search and filter by asset class, strategy, theme, performance, yield, and much more
ETF Performance: View ETF performance across key asset classes and investing themes
ETF Investing Guide: Learn how to build and manage a well-diversified, low cost ETF portfolio
ETF Selector: An explanation of how to select and use ETFs