Microsoft's Next CEO: Big Changes Would Come Under Elop Leadership
As Microsoft's board reportedly mulls a shortlist of potential CEOs, a picture emerges of what the technology giant would look like under Nokia CEO Stephen Elop's rule.The volume on the buzz surrounding the selection of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's successor, along with the software maker's stock price, has been rising since news surfaced that the company is currently considering a shortlist of potential chief executives with considerable clout. Among them is Nokia CEO Stephen Elop. Microsoft has reportedly winnowed a list of roughly 40 candidates to about five. They include former Skype CEO Tony Bates, who currently serves as the head of business development and evangelism at Microsoft, and Ford CEO Alan Mulally, considered the frontrunner. Also on the list is Microsoft's enterprise and cloud chief Satya Nadella. Now, details are emerging of what Elop's tenure as Microsoft CEO, if he is chosen to replace Ballmer, could look like. And his past connections with Redmond offer some clues. In her Nov. 6 report, eWEEK's Michelle Maisto noted that "Elop left a role as president of Microsoft's Business Division to take on the CEO position at Nokia in 2010." The move set off a chain of events whose effects are still reverberating through the tech industry. "Shortly afterward, he spearheaded the effort to abandon the ailing Symbian operating system in favor of Microsoft's Windows Phone OS. And this fall, he negotiated the sale of Nokia's Devices & Services business to Microsoft for $7.1 billion," Maisto wrote.
In a Nov. 8 report, Bloomberg revealed that the 49-year-old Elop "would consider breaking with decades of tradition by focusing the company's strategy around making the popular Office software programs like Word, Excel and PowerPoint available on a broad variety of smartphones and tablets, including those made by Apple Inc. and Google Inc.," according to three sources familiar with his thinking.