In late August, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said that he would retire within the next 12 months. That gives him until August 2014 to hand the reigns over to somebody else. While that could certainly happen, it seems that Microsoft's board wants to get him out the door much sooner.
Bloomberg reports that Microsoft's board is working tirelessly to replace Ballmer before the end of the year. It's been almost two months since the announcement of Ballmer's retirement, however, and the board hasn't named a single nominee yet.
Despite its reluctance to name any nominees, a recent report said the board had put Ford CEO Alan Mulally at the top of its shortlist. Mulally has seemingly denied being interested in the position at Microsoft, but his current contract with Ford allows him to consider other positions despite being expected to stay with Ford until 2014.
Besides Mulally, Microsoft's board is also looking at a number of other potential candidates. Bloomberg names eBay CEO John Donahoe and Nokia CEO Stephen Elop as candidates, but the former has reportedly told the board to not consider him. That leaves Elop as the only other candidate besides Mulally that we actually know about. He's also one of the more likely candidates considering Microsoft's recent purchase of Nokia's devices and services business.
So, when will we finally hear who the next CEO of Microsoft is? Well, the board will have to choose a replacement first, and then negotiate with said replacement on matters of compensation. If the replacement comes from outside the company, they will also have to negotiate departure terms with the company the replacement is leaving. After all of that is said and done, the board will then announce the replacement.
Whether that announcement comes late this year or early next remains to be seen. All we know for sure is that the board and shareholders don't want Ballmer sticking around for another year.[Image: Andy Caddy/YouTube]