Alan Mulally Won’t Leave Ford To Take On Microsoft

It doesn’t seem like Microsoft is any closer to announcing its new chief executive, but the company does at least have one less candidate to consider. Ford CEO Alan Mulally has confirmed that he’ll stay at the world’s largest car maker through next year.

The Associated Press confirmed that Mulally won’t leave Ford before 2014 in a post this afternoon. Reportedly, Mulally wanted to clear up the misconception that he might be leaving to take over as Microsoft CEO after Steve Ballmer retires sometime this year.

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That Mulally felt compelled to publicly announce that he’d stay at Ford is interesting by itself. Reports that Mulally was in the running for Microsoft CEO began running rampant almost immediately after Ballmer publicly announced that he would be stepping down as Microsoft CEO so that the company could find a new CEO to stay for the long haul. Ballmer indicated that he’d originally planned to retire soon but felt that retiring now would give a new CEO the time they need to get up to speed on Microsoft’s businesses and lead it into a new age.

Reports indicated that Ford’s board of directors were already pushing him to declare whether he was under consideration to replace Ballmer. Presumably, it’s for that reason that he decided to publicly announce that he would stay at Ford for at least the rest of the year.

As its Microsoft’s policy to not disclose CEO candidates, we don’t yet know who is actually being considered for the job.

Rumors have indicated that Microsoft is considering Tony Bates, Skype’s former leader, Cloud and Enterprise head Satya Nadella and Steven Elop of Nokia. Of those candidates, it’s Elop that seems to get Microsoft watchers excited. He previously worked for Microsoft’s Office division before becoming Nokia CEO. Should Microsoft’s buyout of Nokia get regulatory approval, Elop would return to the company as a leader in its mobile hardware business even if he doesn’t get the job of CEO.

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