“At least three” of Microsoft’s top 20 investors want Alan Mulally, CEO of Ford, to head Microsoft when Steve Ballmer retires.
Citing “several” sources, Reuters reports that the investors have recommended Mulally and the CEO of Computer Sciences, Mike Lawrie, to Microsoft’s board for the position when Ballmer leaves next year.
A former Boeing engineer, Mulally is considered to have turned around Ford’s culture by reviving brands such as the Taurus.
Ford’s board is said to be open to Mulally’s possible move to Microsoft from early 2014 onwards, but Mulally has stated that he is “focused on serving our Ford”.
Ballmer himself has praised Mulally, saying that “he understands the fundamentals of business success as well as any business leader I know” in the Time 100 in 2009.
Lawrie, head of IT services giant Computer Sciences following his work as IBM’s global sales chief during the 1990s and 2000s, is highlighted as a possible successor by Reuters due to his turnaround of financial software firm Misys Plc.
Nokia CEO Stephen Elop has also been rumoured for the position, though many have pushed against the suggestion, citing Elop’s oft-criticised tenure at Nokia.