As you're probably aware, Microsoft announced back in the summer that CEO Steve Ballmer would be stepping down after another twelve months. The company's Board of Directors would begin a search for his replacement.
The company has now given an update on the search, and no, they haven't found the replacement yet.
As Microsoft said from the beginning, they're looking both inside of the company and outside for the right person to fill Ballmer's shoes.
John W. Thompson, chair of the Board's search committee, says he's pleased with the search's progress.
"The Board has taken the thoughtful approach that our shareholders, customers, partners and employees expect and deserve," he says. "After defining our criteria, we initially cast a wide net across a number of different industries and skill sets. We identified over 100 possible candidates, talked with several dozen, and then focused our energy intensely on a group of about 20 individuals, all extremely impressive in their own right. As you would expect, as this group has narrowed, we’ve done deeper research and investigation, including with the full Board. We’re moving ahead well, and I expect we’ll complete our work in the early part of 2014."
"At the same time, Microsoft has continued to drive hard," he adds. "Our employees produced strong quarterly results, announced in October. They released new versions of Windows, our Surface products and many other offerings. And the launch of Xbox One was experienced around the world. All of us on the Board appreciate their continued focus and commitment."
You can take a look at the quarterly results here.
"As a Board, we are determined and confident that the company’s third CEO will lead Microsoft to renewed and continued success," Thompson says. " We’re looking forward to 2014 and the opportunities and decisions that lie ahead."
Ford CEO Alan Mulally had been a major contender to fill the role, but a couple weeks ago, Ford Board Director Edsel Ford indicated that Mulally would be staying with Ford through the end of 2014 at least. That doesn't quite fit the timeframe Microsoft is talking about.
Two other frequently mentioned candidates are Satya Nadella and Tony Bates. Nadella leads Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise group, and Bates leads its Business Development and Strategy.
Former Nokia CEO (and current softie) Stephen Elop has also been mentioned in various reports (with rumors swirling that if he were to get the job, he would consider getting rid of Bing and Xbox).
There has also been an unnamed person said to be on the shortlist of potential candidates.