Allan Mulally, President and CEO of Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) denied rumors that he is a front-runner among candidates to succeed Ballmer as Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) CEO.

Alan Mulally ford

Ford CEO’s interview

In his interview to USA Today, he emphasized he loves serving Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) and has nothing new to add to his plans to continue serving Ford.

In August, amid pressure from activist fund manager ValueAct Capital Management, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s Chief Executive Steve Ballmer announced his intention to quit within 12 months.

Ballmer has been one of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s masterminds for decades, and his track record in the past has been excellent. The company wouldn’t be where it is now without him and Bill Gates.

However, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) failed in its initiatives for surface platforms, besides not making much of an impact in the hardware business outside of the Xbox. Besides the disasters that were Windows Vista and Windows 8, which both happened under Steve Ballmer’s watch.

Microsoft also lost ground to Apple Inc and Google Inc in a move towards mobile computing.

Rumors of Ford’s Mulally to take Microsoft reins

Last week, citing known sources, AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher reported that Ford Motor Company’s CEO Alan Mulally is in the lead to take over from Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s exiting CEO Steve Ballmer.

Adding to the rumor, recently Reuters reported that Mulally has been exploring other high-profile roles to follow up his successful tenure at Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), and the automaker’s board is open to his leaving sooner than planned.

New CEO’s challenges

The new CEO of Microsoft will likely confront a few challenges, including enhancing Microsoft’s position in smartphones and tablets besides refocusing the company from its packaged software focus to hardware devices and cloud services.

Alan Mulally is well known for his ability to turn around troubled companies. Mulally spent 37 years at Boeing, where he helped outflank competitor Airbus with the Boeing 777 jetliner.

Mike Snider of USA Today notes that with Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) co-developed the Sync Infotainment system that lets drivers connect their smartphones in Ford vehicles.

However, Juan Carlos Perez of PC World feels Mulally would still be considered an outsider as someone with no IT industry or Microsoft baggage.

With Microsoft’s yet unfinished acquisition of Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V), some believe Stephen Elop, a Microsoft veteran, could be the top contender given Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s new direction of providing ‘services and devices’.