Thompson adds Microsoft initially started with a list of over 100 (!) possible CEO candidates, eventually narrowed it to ~20 people, and then did "deeper research and investigation."
He also notes Bill Gates has said the job requires "the ability to lead a highly technical organization and work with top technical talent." Those comments come a week after Bloomberg reported Alan Mulally's candidacy had "faded" due to concerns about his lack of an IT background. Mulally did, however, run product design teams at Boeing.