I woke up a few days ago and saw that Ford (F) CEO Allan Mulally may be firmly in the running to be the next CEO of Microsoft.
I couldn’t be happier.
AllthingsD is reporting that while Mr. Mulally was initially averse to the idea, he may be warming up to it. Some of the factors cited were the fact that he has both a work history and a home in the Seattle area and he has been a close adviser to current Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.
While this is really all speculation, Mr. Mulally would be nothing short of an excellent choice for Redmond.
I won’t go into detail about his excellent stewardship of the Ford motor company because it should be well known to those reading this article but he is also an excellent choice for the following reasons.
He’s not an insider at Redmond. He hasn’t been corrupted by whatever nonsense is in the water over there. He could take a good look at their business and make the changes needed to make them competitive in the mobile area.
While he’s not exactly a software architect, he has an engineering background and has worked extensively at Boeing. I believe that a critical move he WOULD make would be getting a leadership team of OUTSIDERS to give him advice on the current state and direction of Microsoft’s products. He’s smart enough to know that internal advice hasn’t worked thus far.
He’s also one of the few people would have the gravitas to make sweeping changes to the direction of Windows and be given the benefit of the doubt.
What Mr. Mulally has shown at Ford is the ability to make very tough decisions in the middle of a very hostile and competitive landscape.
He steered Ford successfully through the 2008 financial crisis, government oversight and regulation and auto maker competition domestically and abroad. He knows what he’s doing and isn’t swayed by current conditions.
I believe the simple announcement that Mr. Mulally decided to accept the job could raise Microsoft’s stock significantly. It could inject a sense of confidence and competence into the company that has been missing for years.
The bottom line with Mr. Mulally’s tenure at Ford was, he brought paying customers in to buy Ford’s products. Microsoft desperately needs someone who can bring customers into the stores and make them part with their hard earned money.
If Mr. Mulally could convince Americans to buy Ford motor cars at those price points, I am hopeful that he can do the same for laptops, tablets and phones.
I believe he would be extremely competitive and do his best to not just fix Microsoft but really compete against Google and Apple.
He (Mr. Mulally) seems on paper to have a lot of qualifications that make him the perfect candidate for this job.
In many ways, he seems to be the anti-Elop.
Former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop on the other hand is absolutely the wrong person to lead Microsoft. He basically had no fresh ideas for Nokia and decided to basically give the mobile maker to Microsoft as things got tough.
His tenure at Nokia and his Microsoft or nothing approach to making Nokia successful show that the man basically had no fresh ideas and was unable to do anything innovative to fix Nokia’s problems when necessary.
In addition, his transition to Microsoft has been messy, alienated the Finnish people and is making the wrong kind of headlines re: his divorce etc.
I believe that Mr. Elop’s ascension to this post would not only guarantee a lack of market confidence in Microsoft’s stock but it would guarantee that going forward, Microsoft could actually make worse business decisions than the ones it has made to this point.
The bottom line
If you love Microsoft or have Microsoft stock and are religious, get on your knees and pray that someone like Mr. Mulally is offered and accepts the job of Microsoft CEO.
Some of the alternatives could lose you a lot of money.