Report: Microsoft CEO decision not expected this month

|About: Microsoft Corporation (MSFT)|By:, SA News Editor

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.