back to article Microsoft CEO shortlist claim: It's just Elop, Bates, Mulally, Nadella and...

The shortlist for Microsoft’s next chief executive is apparently a bit shorter. Five people are now in the frame to run the world’s largest software company, it's believed. Ford Motor Company big cheese Alan Mulally and former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop are said to be the two leading outside candidates. “At least” three internal …


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  1. Just a geek

    Part of me would like to see Elop get it. It would be fun to see him break up the company and sell it to Apple..... ;)

  2. Arctic fox

    I don't think that Elop will get it.............

    ......... He has to prove first that he can run, successfully, MS' new devices division. The guy from Ford with a track record in managing change on the large scale would seem logical - but what do I know? Redland are not likely to ask my advice!

    1. TheOtherHobbes

      Re: I don't think that Elop will get it.............

      I'd love to see a smart, competitive MS doing clever and interesting things and shaking things up.

      But at this point, the company is so dysfunctional - even while it's so good at making cash, for now - that real innovation is almost vanishingly unlikely.

      In fact MS have an impressive recent track record of gravity-warping stupidity. So on that basis, Elop should be a shoo-on - if only because it's hard to imagine anyone less competent.

      He even looks the part - blobbed out from the same Dr Who monster silicone mould as Ballmer.

  3. Khaptain Silver badge

    Choices choices choices

    As long as Balmer is out then can it really get any worse anyway ?

    I can't judge Balmers business acumen but his presence was unbearable, he was a lousy figurehead for such a large company.

    I don't think that it is so important who takes the lead as long as that person listens to his "paying" public a little more than the last guy did.

    1. Phil W

      Re: Choices choices choices

      "can it really get any worse anyway ?"

      Yes, by Elop getting it. Compare track records.

      Ballmer while not actually causing much success at Microsoft hasn't actually overseen any complete failures either (Windows 8 doesn't count, some people like it and Server 2012 is good). The company is still intact and profitable.

      Elop wasn't especially successful at Microsoft the first time round, and his time at Nokia spelled the end of it's most major division.

      Keeping the boat afloat, but staying still.


      Deciding the boat doesn't need a hull and throwing bits of it away, and insisting you were right as it sinks.

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: Choices choices choices

        Just read a quick track record report of Elop on ZDnet, effectively things could get worse than Ballmer...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Choices choices choices

        You do realise that Elop was brought in to Nokia in order to turn it around. Contrary to popular belief he didn't come into an otherwise healthy company and run it into the ground so that MS could swoop in and buy it.

        1. Roo

          Re: Choices choices choices

          "You do realise that Elop was brought in to Nokia in order to turn it around. Contrary to popular belief he didn't come into an otherwise healthy company and run it into the ground so that MS could swoop in and buy it."

          Could have fooled me.

          Even ignoring the fact that he converted Nokia into a smouldering platform, Elop doesn't seem to like working somewhere for more than 2 years so I would question his sticking power before we even get onto his skills and achievements.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Choices choices choices

      Yes. Any new CEO is going to want to make an impression. That often means scrapping things, re-organising (again, it wasn't that long ago that Ballmer tried that) and streamlining.

      Obviously there's no growth in Windows or Office but other product lines aren't raking in the cash. It's a tough situation.

    3. Vociferous

      Re: Choices choices choices

      > Ballmer

      You know, Ballmer wasn't alone in wrecking Windows. He had an accomplice (who's also been fired), Steven Sinofsky, and incredibly I've actually heard people non-ironically suggest Sinofsky as a suitable replacement for Ballmer.

    4. Charles Manning

      Can it really get any worse anyway

      While Ballmer has certainly been sub-standard, it is naive to think that a change to anyone will make things better.

      The paying public really don't enter into the equation at all. What matters really are the business owners ie the stock holders. They ultimately have the say and they are the people asking the big questions.

      Any new broom will have to sweep really clean to pick up stock holder confidence. That will mean some radical changes. I would expect that MS will shed a lot of business areas and employees.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Old dog, new tricks ?

    Do Microsoft really want to put someone who is already 68 years old in charge ?

    1. Steve Knox Silver badge

      Re: Old dog, new tricks ?

      Would you like to rephrase that as a statement, or are you just casually ageist?

    2. keithpeter

      Re: Old dog, new tricks ?

      Get someone in to make the hard decisions, restructure the business, based on a life time of experience, and who will strike the shareholders as a 'safe pair of hands'.

      Once the blood is washed off the steps at Redmond, a graceful handover to another candidate (preferably someone who has gained experience during the restructuring) whose skill set fits the restructured business well.

      Strikes me as the crowning achievement capping a full and rich career.

  5. T. F. M. Reader Silver badge

    "Elop lacks the track record

    in the kinds of massive business change shareholders want to see..."

    Hmm, am I to understand that the shareholders do not want to see the kinds of massive business change that he does have a track record in, eh? Because he does have a track record in massive business change...

  6. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

    I can't disagree more. Nadella is the best choice. He doesn't need superpowers to fold in Nokia, just good VPs. He has always been a man who knows his limitations and who casts about for additional brains to overcome those limitations. Nadella would make a Microsoct that's responsive to it's customers. Not one that blackmails, threatens and dismisses them. He's not just what Microsoft needs...he's what the industry as a whole needs.

  7. Andus McCoatover

    Olilla didn't get an invite to the party, then?

    He didn't just turn a company around. He turned a country around.

    Albeit it's a small one. Smaller than NY state. Even so...

    They could've done worse...And I think thy're going to.

    Radical think at Microsoft. Will I see Windows 10.1 released as a .deb in my lifetime...? Nothing surprises me anymore, after Nokia --> MS.

  8. gryff

    Elop certain has "execution" pedigree

    "Microsofters, windows is a burning platform, unable to attract the developers, filled with cruft that makes it hard to adapt to the needs of a modern OS ecosystem. Unable to compete against Android and Linux and as we are unwilling to use ios... Allow me to introduce BeOS..

    "With BeOS we have a 64 bit architecture, clean GUI design that wi..."

    wait a minute..where'd everyone go?

  9. Bladeforce

    Doesnt matter who gets it

    same old shit same old FUD

  10. Vociferous

    Sorry, I'm not interested.

    Stuff to do, places to be, you know how it is. Ask Eric, I hear he's... oh you did?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Elop is the front runner...

    First Elop has been a senior exec at Microsoft prior to heading over to Nokia.

    Second, Elop actually did a decent job at Nokia given the situation that they were in.

    Laugh and mock his decision to go Microsoft, but it looks like its starting to pay off. Of course now Microsoft has the phone biz.

    Third, ask yourself why Elop left Microsoft to go to Nokia in the first place...

    Oh and to the article's author's point... Elop does have the brass b's to cut staff as needed.

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: Elop is the front runner...

      Um, what MS needs is someone who can weed out the deadwood, not slash and burn his way across the company.

  12. hammarbtyp Silver badge

    2 ceo's needed

    They need 2 qualities. Firstly someone who can knock some heads together and get the big personalities who head the ms departments working together. Secondly someone with technical vision who can take the billions spent in ms labs and create new markets, not forever playing catch-up.

    Can't see any of the candidates doing that. Especially Elop, who seems more a salesman than a visionary

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: 2 ceo's needed

      CEOs need vision. COOs need to kick ass.

      Jobs + Cook.

      Even if you found your unicorn CEO with all the magical qualities you desire, trying to run a corporation as big as Microsoft he'd burn out like a dry candle trying to do it all himself. That's the point of having a qualified team of executives that can work well together.

      Nadella needs to run the thing. He's the only one who could actually craft a vision that would create a Microsoft end users and businesses alike would want to buy from. Elop would be a great COO, knocking heads together and organizing sales forces.

      1. Getriebe

        Re: 2 ceo's needed

        "CEOs need vision. COOs need to kick ass.

        Jobs + Cook."

        Total agreement on this. On another post I said MSFT needs a Jack Welch like character - but of course the great helmsman had a bunch of great leaders in the shadows. He cast a long shaow.

        If you are saying Nadella as CEO I am not certain he has the presence and the desire to make sacrifices to do the big job.

        Right now they need a Georgy Zhukov character even.

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: 2 ceo's needed

          Please. Spend an hour in the same room as Nadella. Presence is not his problem.

  13. N2 Silver badge

    Satya Nadella

    gets my vote, El Reg, why dont you run a poll?

  14. Shane Kent

    I can't help but think...

    they need a young tech savvy person, but they are so huge. Then I think they need a team, two maybe more, but they seriously need someone at/around the top that is young, has the energy of a 20 something, and is connected to what people want. I say this because it is going to take a $#!+ load of work to put them back to where people, other than console gamers, are excited about their next version of...

  15. Mikel

    If we're voting

    I think Stephen Elop has what it takes to lead Microsoft to their destiny.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Scott McNealy

    Go on, it would be comedy gold.

  17. Denarius Silver badge

    Oops, I read Nigella

    Thought for a minute I would like to attend an M$ show, then saw the misreading. rats

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    An external appointment with no relocation expenses.

  19. xcubegames

    No Nokia!!

    Please no one from Nokia !!!

  20. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Phone channel supplier

    Actually, with Elop in charge of Nokia, fabrication became more Microsoft like.

  21. Hans 1 Silver badge

    Rick Belluzzo is my guy - I think he would kill off all software departments in Redmond after receiving cease and desist (even a fake) from the likes of HTC ...

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