Stranger things have happened. If you believed the search for a new Redmond CEO was coming to its logical conclusion, with an official announcement slated for this week, then get ready for a surprise.

A flashy new report claims that an interesting new candidate has joined the fray.

Microsoft could potentially get its next CEO from its closest rival, as the company is said to have started negotiations with Sundar Pichai — head of Google Chrome and Apps business. The executive is currently involved in a number of key Android projects.

The abovementioned report cites sources close to the hiring team, and they claim that Pichai is, as of right now, considered the top external candidate for the hot seat at Redmond.

Satya Nadella is still the biggest bet for when it comes to internal candidates, however.

In fact, analysts have already started weighing in on such a possibility. Dave Vellante, the chief analyst at Wikibon, for instance thinks that such a pick could be a rather smart move for the software titan:

“Microsoft could really move the ball down the field with Sundar Pichai in creating a new open operating system model for cloud, mobile, and social.

The market has been looking for a CEO who can balance the role of leading the enterprise transformation while keeping that consumer momentum with Xbox and reboot mobile. Pichai is the total package of technology leadership and business acumen.”

Google seems be aware of this advance, and people close to the matter are reportedly claiming that the search engine giant has paid Pichai to the tune of $50 million to reject Microsoft’s offer.

A preposterous amount, but one that is, nevertheless, unconfirmed.

An official announcement from Microsoft is still expected in the next couple of weeks, as the company finalizes talks with these few leading candidates. And with this new addition, the official announcement promises to be grand, in every sense of the word.

Your take on this, ladies and gentlemen? Sound off in the comments.

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  • Ray C

    I can’t see him as CEO, but he might be good as a Microsoft Exec. Maybe he has the relationship to get some of these companies to get off their butts and get all their Android apps to Windows and Windows Phone.

    • Fahad Ali

      True, does not really seem CEO material.

    • Macpaul Emeka Ekwueme

      I agree with you Ray, and $50M? What is this guy? A soccer player?

  • Terfa Prince Binda

    Are you kidding me… I love the idea… CEO material or not, he could bring with him some helpful insights on how to turn things around at redmond