[Update Dec. 13, 2013: Mollenkopf as Microsoft CEO? Not so much. Qualcomm just announced that Mollenkopf will become its new CEO in March, succeeding current CEO Paul Jacobs.]
It really is like watching a horse race.
Just a few weeks ago, the race to become Microsoft CEO looked like it was Alan Mulally’s to lose. Now there are rumblings and reports about Microsoft’s board cooling on Mulally and turning to other candidates with more technical experience. And several sources are talking about the rise of some dark horse candidates.
It appears one of those candidates is Qualcomm Chief Operating Officer Steve Mollenkopf, according to a Bloomberg report.
Mollenkopf has served as president and chief operating officer of Qualcomm since November 2011 and has been with the company since 1994 when he started as an engineer. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech and a master’s degree, also in electrical engineering, from the University of Michigan.
Mollenkopf is apparently on a list of candidates under “serious consideration” — a list that includes Microsoft Executive Vice President Satya Nadella as well as other external candidates, according to the Bloomberg report, which cites people who asked not to be identified because the process is confidential.
Mulally might still be considered under certain conditions — such as coming in for a few years to groom an internal candidate, the report says.
In the meantime, Mulally’s non-denial denials of whether he’s been approached and is interested in the Microsoft position is apparently irking Ford’s board, which is planning to press for more clarity from Mulally this week on his future with the automaker, according to Reuters.