The speculation about who will replace Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer continues with a rumor that the company is considering yet another candidate. Bloomberg News reported that QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) Chief Operating Officer Steve Mollenkopf is in the running for the top spot at Microsoft.

Microsoft

Incidentally enough, it was announced today that Mollenkopf would become Qualcomm’s CEO, which would indicate that he’s not in the running to be Microsoft’s CEO at all. Or perhaps Microsoft had been considering him at one time, but now he is no longer a candidate for the company.

Microsoft narrows CEO list

Recently it was reported that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) had cut down its list of CEO candidates to a short list of possibilities. Reuters reports that Microsoft plans to choose its new CEO at the end of the year. Many continue to hope that Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) CEO Alan Mulally, who helped Ballmer with the reorganization of the company, would be coming to the software giant.

However, other Ford executives say he is staying with the automaker through 2014. Also Mulally himself has apparently denied the rumors, although many see his recent comments as being inconclusive.

Other possibilities for Microsoft’s CEO

Other candidates have been said to include former Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK) (BIT:NOK1V) (HEL:NOK1V) CEO Stephen Elop, who will be returning to Microsoft anyway after the company completes the purchase of Nokia’s devices division. Sources have also told Reuters that “an external tech executive” is being considered, along with “one or two internal executives.”

Oracle Corporation (NYSE:ORCL) President Mark Hurd has also been said to be in the running to become Microsoft’s next CEO. Some have even suggested that Bill Gates would return to the helm of the company he helped found.

Of course all of this is merely speculation at this point, since Microsoft always declines to comment on the search for its next CEO.