Stephen Elop Is Destined to Be Microsoft's Next CEO: 10 Reasons Why

1 - Stephen Elop Is Destined to Be Microsoft's Next CEO: 10 Reasons Why
2 - Microsoft Needs Mobile Help
3 - The Timing Is Perfect
4 - Why Else Would Elop Leave a Company That Will Still Operate?
5 - Microsoft Trusts His Decision Making
6 - He's a Former Microsoftie
7 - Many of the New Microsoft Employees Already Work Under Him
8 - Elop Understands Software and Hardware
9 - He's Done a Fine Job
10 - No One Else Has All of the Tools
11 - He Already Has Intimate Knowledge of Microsoft's Mobile Division
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Stephen Elop Is Destined to Be Microsoft's Next CEO: 10 Reasons Why

by Don Reisinger

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Microsoft Needs Mobile Help

If Elop can bring anything to the table at Microsoft, it's his knowledge of mobile. Microsoft needs significant help in the mobile market, and right now, the company isn't producing. Elop should be able to deliver that value and right Microsoft's ailing mobile ship.

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The Timing Is Perfect

That Microsoft announced its deal to acquire Nokia just after it also announces that Steve Ballmer is retiring should be telling. As long as everything goes well, Microsoft will close its Nokia purchase in the first quarter, giving Ballmer enough time to slip out the door within his self-imposed 12-month timeframe and let Elop come in.

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Why Else Would Elop Leave a Company That Will Still Operate?

Let's not forget that Microsoft didn't buy all of Nokia. Instead, the company bought its mobile hardware business, along with licenses to its patents. Why else would Elop leave a position as CEO of a company that's still in operation to become a vice president if not for the opportunity to eventually lead the firm he's gone to?

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Microsoft Trusts His Decision Making

Microsoft appears to trust Elop's decision making. After all, the company has decided to let him stay on within the company and lead its entire mobile device division. If that's not an endorsement, what is?

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He's a Former Microsoftie

There's something to be said in Redmond for people that are loyal to Microsoft. And although Elop left, the fact that he's a former Microsoft employee matters greatly to some board members and shareholders. If Elop weren't a former Microsoft employee, he might not be viewed as favorably by some.

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Many of the New Microsoft Employees Already Work Under Him

Microsoft right now has about 99,000 employees. With its Nokia buy, the company is adding 32,000 people. That means when it's all said and done, approximately one-quarter of the company will be under Elop's leadership. Even better, they already work under him. Elop comes in with a ready employee base that knows and respects him. That matters.

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Elop Understands Software and Hardware

The right Microsoft CEO will know how to handle both software and hardware and unlock the value in both. Elop just so happens to be one of those individuals. As Nokia CEO, he has improved the company's hardware options while delivering better software through Here and other platforms. That should only help his chances of becoming Microsoft CEO.

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He's Done a Fine Job

Although Nokia is still in deep trouble, it's important to point out that Elop has done quite well in his role as the company's chief executive. While at Nokia, Elop has been able to stabilize the company and improve its smart device sales. He's even been able to stabilize the company's balance sheet through asset reduction. All in all, he's done a good job.

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No One Else Has All of the Tools

Looking around at the people that could eventually lead Microsoft, it's hard to find anyone that truly has all of the tools that Microsoft wants. There are some folks who can run hardware divisions and others that know the cloud, but no one other than Elop has the ready-made knowledge needed to get Microsoft back on the right track. And it appears Ballmer and Microsoft know it.

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He Already Has Intimate Knowledge of Microsoft's Mobile Division

Microsoft has made one thing abundantly clear: It needs to do a better job in mobile. Realizing that, it's entirely possible that the company has seen value in Elop because of his intimate knowledge of its mobile operations. From the current Windows Phone to future solutions, Elop knows well Microsoft's road map. And that has only helped his chances of getting Microsoft's CEO job.

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