Alan Mulally MSFT CEO candidate

Microsoft Desperately Needs Someone Like Alan Mulally As It’s Next CEO

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.

Fresh Eyes

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.

Technology Background

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.

Business Background

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.

Market confidence

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.

Marketing Experience

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.

  • Lenn Liggins

    If he becomes CEO It would really help Microsoft. They need a new direction and a different captain to run the ship,.

    • http://www.learnabouttheweb.com/ Onuora Amobi

      I think so..

  • 123321

    These two can’t be the only persons who are possible for that job…

  • Ezra TheITGuy

    One would have wanted a person with a good appreciation of Software Engineering, having one who only relies on outside advice might not be the way to go

  • Ray C

    Some good points where made in this article, but desperately needs is a stretch.

  • Edward Allen

    I agree that Alan Mulally would make a very good future CEO of Microsoft. His track record as both an engineer (with Boeing Corp.) and a business manager (with Ford Motor Corp.) is impressive to say the least. A successful company needs more than just innovators. They need business managers who are the ones responsible for harnessing the creativity of the innovators and channeling the new ideas to develop a marketable product, which is, by definition a product that the full spectrum of potential users in the marketplace will find easy to use and suited to their needs and wishes. That is the bottom line for any company.

    • http://www.learnabouttheweb.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Well said…

  • Edward Allen

    In reply to the post made by Ezra ThelTGuy, I would respectfully submit the following to you, sir, for your consideration. Second of all, where is your proof that Alan Mulally does not have a good appreciation of software engineering. I refer in particular to Mr. Mulally’s previous experience as an engineer with Boeing Corporation, which point was cited in the original article. To my level of understanding Mr Mulally needed necessarily to be concerned with software and how the software is engineered because aircraft design relies on the computer software heavily on a day to day basis and in not only the design of the aircraft but investigations of accidents involving the use of aircraft.
    Finally and first of all I challenge your implication that Mr. Mulally relies solely on outside advice. Here again I ask you where is your proof to back this up. I also challenge your premise that “outside advice” might be bad for a company like Microsoft. A future CEO of Microsoft should not, in my opinion, reject the advice of others but rather consider it and sift the good from it while rejecting the bad. A CEO of any company cannot sit in the office all day and not keep in tune what is going on in the world and especially his own company. Nor can he not listen to the input of the team of skilled professionals who call him (or her, to be politically correct) their boss.