Ford CEO Alan Mulally, who for a while there seemed to be the candidate to beat to become Microsoft’s next CEO, said today that he is not coming to Microsoft and that he will be staying at Ford at least through 2014.
Current Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced in August that he would be retiring once his successor has been chosen.
Since then, reports and speculation had favored Mulally early on, as well as Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s executive vice president of its Cloud and Enterprise division. More recent reports indicated the board was leaning toward dark horse candidates with high-tech experience such as Qualcomm COO Steve Mollenkopf (who was named Qualcomm CEO a day after news reports surfaced that he was being considered for Microsoft’s CEO position).
Microsoft’s board search committee had reportedly hoped to have the successor chosen by the end of last year but said last month that it didn’t expect to finish its work until about early 2014.
Microsoft shares were down about 1 percent in after-hours trading; Ford shares were up about 1 percent.