Although many Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) watchers have pretty much written him off already, it’s now official. Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) CEO Alan Mulally won’t be leaving the automaker to go to Ford this year. He’ll be staying with Ford at least through the end of 2014.
Mulally ends Microsoft rumors
The Associated Press reports (via ABC News and others) that Mulally wanted to dispel the rumors which have been circulating for months. There have been widespread speculations that he would leave Ford and become Steve Ballmer’s replacement at Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT). However, Mulally said those speculations were a distraction for Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) and that Ford investors shouldn’t be worried that he was about to leave.
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“I would like to end the Microsoft speculation because I have no other plans to do anything other than serve Ford,” the Associated Press quotes Mulally as saying.
Why Microsoft fans had hopes for Mulally
The reason Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) investors were excited by the mere thought that Alan Mulally would take over the helm was because of the major changes he has taken on at Ford. Most credit him with making Ford profitable again as well as changing the culture of the company and ending the infighting which was widespread among executives. Mark Fields became chief operating officer in November 2012, and he is widely seen as being Mulally’s successor when the 68-year-old does leave the automaker.
The fact that Mulally won’t be going to Microsoft is seen as a negative by many who are hoping for a major change agent will swoop in and make big changes to the company.
Other Microsoft CEO candidates remain
In addition to Alan Mulally, there have been speculations about other possible candidates. QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) Chief Operating Officer Steve Mollenkopf was rumored to be in the running for the Microsoft job, but that rumor ended quickly as the chip maker confirmed that he would become its next CEO in March.
It’s now beginning to look more and more like an internal candidate will take the top spot at Microsoft, which many see as a problem because an internal candidate may be less likely to shake things up. Some of Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)’s internal candidates include Cloud and Enterprise EVP Satya Nadella, and former Skype CEO Tony Bates, who came to Microsoft when it acquired Skype in 2011. Former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, who will return to Microsoft when the acquisition of Nokia’s devices division is complete, is also said to be in the running to become the company’s next CEO.