Seeking Alpha

Report: Microsoft CEO decision not expected this month

  • It looks as if the Microsoft (MSFT -1.6%) CEO guessing game will continue a while longer: Multiple sources tell Kara Swisher the software giant won't name Steve Ballmer's successor before February, if not later. A variety of factors are said to be responsible, including a packed January schedule for Bill Gates.
  • Though director John Thompson (previously said a decision would be made in early 2014) leads the search committee, a source says Gates is still heading the search process. The WSJ has reported external candidates are uneasy about Gates and Ballmer maintaining influential roles on Microsoft's board going forward.
  • Swisher reports enterprise software/services chief Satya Nadella remains the top internal CEO candidate, and that he's "a favorite among employees due to his geekier cred." But external candidates are still being considered, and concerns exist about Nadella's business/sales expertise.
  • Shares continues to trade lower in response to Alan Mulally's decision to stay at Ford.
Comments (38)
  • "including a packed January schedule for Bill Gates."


    What a lousy excuse! It isn't as if this hasn't been not known.
    8 Jan, 12:53 PM Reply Like
  • $MSFT back to low $30s before the CEO is picked imo
    8 Jan, 12:54 PM Reply Like
  • I hope so, another great buying opportunity!


    Long MSFT NOK
    8 Jan, 09:00 PM Reply Like
  • "including a packed January schedule for Bill Gates."


    Tells you that BG has his head up his A$$, so much for regular stockholders.
    8 Jan, 01:30 PM Reply Like
  • I'd say that Ballmer and Gates which each own around 4% of Microsoft's stock or about $11 billion each have an earned right to say who will be Microsoft's next CEO and what that person plans on doing if appointed by the BOD. Retail and Wall Street investors are only interested in short term profits since they can mostly dump their shares on short pops.
    8 Jan, 03:25 PM Reply Like
  • TECHY46
    Both SB & BG have reached peter principle status. great programmers but couldn't run a general store
    8 Jan, 04:20 PM Reply Like
  • haha They should just get out of technology and make candy. It's much better business.
    8 Jan, 04:38 PM Reply Like
  • @NYCTXBanker
    Actually neither Ballmer or Gates where ever great programmers. However, they did manage to be in the right place, at the right time and understood how to acquire the software products required to fuel the PC, network and client server revolution while others invented products for gamers and monkeys. There's not many general stores with market caps of $300 billion and who's originators are worth over $100 billion except Wal-Mart.
    8 Jan, 06:58 PM Reply Like
  • TECHY46
    MARKET CAPS are have in the past gone from billions to zero ever heard of GM or the peter principle.
    8 Jan, 08:32 PM Reply Like
  • It is great when the decision maker has skin in the game.
    8 Jan, 09:01 PM Reply Like
  • ruffdog


    think how many founders were asked to leave because of the peter principle.
    8 Jan, 10:37 PM Reply Like
  • @Techy - that's not true - look at this donkey race game BG programmed -
    9 Jan, 12:56 AM Reply Like
  • Thanks, that link made my day. Last thing I played was PONG in 1976, but this is just nerdtastic. I might re-enter video game playing after seeing this. So calming!
    9 Jan, 03:38 AM Reply Like
  • Are you telling me that Gates doesn't know yet who he wants? Unbelievable. The time is beginning to undermine the new CEO's ability to guide the company and its way past time to make a decision.
    8 Jan, 02:20 PM Reply Like
  • Baloney, Microsoft has a lot of irons in the fire like Nokia, Windows 8/9 and Xbox that a new CEO won't really impact that much. Everyone is putting way too much significance on a new CEO's impact.
    8 Jan, 03:27 PM Reply Like
  • techy 46
    yes, and how many will be "upgrade" (read corrected) because it wasn't done right the first time.


    historically did JOBS make a difference by becoming CEO?
    8 Jan, 04:23 PM Reply Like
  • Apple needed a consumer oriented technology visionary and Jobs was the right person. Microsoft needs a enterprise technology visionary that understands consumers too and Bates or Nadella may be the right person. Microsoft does not need someone to turn them into Apple or Google to cater to complaining and whining consumers and greedy investors.
    8 Jan, 07:05 PM Reply Like
  • techy46
    Microsoft has become a utility for businesses however unless they improve on a few fronts only those who bought low will hold for the dividend value.
    8 Jan, 08:39 PM Reply Like
  • Msft products are terrific but that wasn't the point. I am assuming that the CEO will be running this company and making the decisions about what direction to take it and I would like to see someone get the opportunity to do that. Its time for Msft to move on to new leadership, that's all. That's no insult to Mr Gates or Mr Ballmer. Its just time. All companies get there sooner or later. And at some point, it will be yet another new CEO's turn. Its the way it goes. The Corporate circle of life, so to speak.
    9 Jan, 11:00 AM Reply Like
  • My own hunch is that the Company is voluntarily introducing significant VIX into its stock price so that it can buy and sell its own stock or stock options, based on rumours to the outside world, but for the insiders (esp at its Corp Treasury), they pretty much know the outcome.


    Such is the strange world by which Microsoft makes up its "Other Income/Expense" line, as well as deftfully manage its stock count, as well as, consequently, its EPS!
    8 Jan, 02:29 PM Reply Like
  • Or maybe Gates wants to unload 2014 80 million shares which will put Ballmer in 1st place in terms of largest shareholder?
    8 Jan, 03:28 PM Reply Like
  • Will the new CEO be able to make WIndows8 more usable?
    8 Jan, 03:10 PM Reply Like
  • Windows 8 is already a fine OS. If you can't use it don't blame Microsoft.
    8 Jan, 03:29 PM Reply Like
  • W8 is ridiculously easy to use... I can't figure out what the big deal was
    8 Jan, 03:33 PM Reply Like
  • techy46
    software is a service product that means it to be of help on all platforms. win 8 has already been replaced by an UPGRADED 8.1
    8 Jan, 04:27 PM Reply Like
  • wigit5
    try it on a laptop, in some cases you need two clicks to go where you were able to use I click on win 7. In those cases it a regression of work.
    8 Jan, 04:30 PM Reply Like
  • NYC, I use it on a desktop and in a few short days was able to figure out how to get to everything as easily as before if not more easily... whats better is I basically get a whole monitor with my favorites which is customize-able in several ways.


    Obviously this thing is purely preference and level of determination... is W7 fine for most people (90-95%) and there isn't a NEED to upgrade... but it is pretty nice when you learn the tricks/shortcuts.
    8 Jan, 04:35 PM Reply Like
  • you could get a full screen monitor with 7 and add gadgets and icon the way you wanted.
    8 Jan, 04:41 PM Reply Like
  • @NYC I've used WP7 and WP7.8 on my Lumia 900 - both are great. I used W8 CR and now have Asus T100 with W8.1. So what's the beef? Software provides a productive environment to install applications and perform entertainment and meaningful tasks. It is not a service product.
    8 Jan, 07:11 PM Reply Like
  • @NYC If you have a W7 device without a touch based screen you should NOT install W8. You should wait until you need to upgrade to a client device with a touch screen or go straight to Desktop from bootup.
    8 Jan, 07:14 PM Reply Like
  • techy46
    Do you understand the meaning of service?
    8 Jan, 08:42 PM Reply Like
  • techy46
    I agree that windows 8 is great for those who use a touch screen but that causes a problem for those who don't want or can't use touch in their business environment.
    8 Jan, 08:50 PM Reply Like
  • The W8/WP8 tile paradigm is the best innovation that came to GUI design since IRIX. If you don't like W8, just remain with W7 or boot straight to the desktop. No problem.
    9 Jan, 03:41 AM Reply Like
  • As an outsider (no position), I find it interesting that while everyone thought of Apple as being utterly dependent on Steve Jobs' persona and abilities, it turns out that Bill Gates may have played that role at MS to a larger extent than Jobs did at Apple.... He did deliberately cultivate a mild-mannered geek persona as a sort of underdog image. Even his extraordinary success barely affected his Woody Allen-like persona. One of my favorite examples (Bill Gates Goes to School with Napoleon Dynamite): How could one not love someone so self deprecating
    8 Jan, 03:30 PM Reply Like
  • Will SP tank if it is Elop?
    8 Jan, 03:34 PM Reply Like
  • They're having trouble finding a bagholder.
    8 Jan, 08:33 PM Reply Like
  • It's sad that everyone they seek runs away as fast as they can and denies they will be CEO. It looks like it will have to be an insider which is the worst choice they can make. I just hope for shareholders that it's not hand picked mini-me of Balmer.
    9 Jan, 01:50 AM Reply Like
  • Having a CEO is so yesterday. Let chaos rule!
    9 Jan, 11:02 AM Reply Like
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