Steve Ballmer will be leaving Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and there are already rumors of who will replace him. Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V)’s current CEO Steve Elop is reportedly a strong contender to replace Ballmer.


Elop has been the chief executive officer for Nokia since 2010

Elop has been the chief executive officer for Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) since 2010. Prior to that, he worked with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) as a business division leader where he was responsible for the creation of Microsoft Office and Microsoft Dynamics product lines. He has the experience with the company so it would make sense why they would want to officially bring him on board.

Microsoft announced Ballmer’s plans to retire

Just last week, Microsoft announced Ballmer’s plans to retire. This happens months after a major corporate shift which left shareholders cheering in delight.

Elop isn’t the only contender for Microsoft CEO. There are rumors that Microsoft executive Tony Bates and former VMware CEO Paul Maritz are also possibilities.

Fox Business added, “Some in the tech world also speculated about the possible return of Microsoft founder and chairman Bill Gates, who stepped aside as CEO in 2000. Gates is serving on the special committee cobbled together to find a replacement for Ballmer. Succession planning at Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) began as early as 2010, with Ballmer listing internal candidates and the board setting up meetings with potential external candidates, Bloomberg News reported.”

Ballmer has been getting a lot of blame for Microsoft’s failing products

Ballmer initially reported his plans to leave months ago and the company has been preparing for his exit. In a statement, he said that there wasn’t a more perfect time to make the transition. He added, “My original thoughts on timing would have had my retirement happen in the middle of our company’s transformation to a devices and services company. We need a CEO who will be here longer term for this new direction.”

Ballmer has been getting a lot of blame for Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)t’s failing products, most notably the Surface tablet. Whoever replaces the current CEO will have a lot on their plate.