When it comes to lists, this is one of the most illustrious ones around. There probably is not a bigger job in the technology industry right now than the hot seat of Microsoft CEO, after Steve Ballmer recently made official his decision to retire from the post.
But while Redmond continues its search for a new CEO, people close to the matter have hinted that the company is trying to expedite and accelerate the process — with the intention of making an announcement on this by the end of the year.
And now the Wall Street Journal has got its hands on the secret (or not secret) shortlist.
According to this new report, when it comes to internal candidates, both Tony Bates (head of Skype) and Satya Nadella (the chief of the cloud and enterprise division) have joined the race for the seat of CEO. Both gentlemen reportedly met with the search committee to discuss taking over the role.
And when it comes to external candidates, eight people are said to be on the list right now.
Leading the pack is Ford CEO Alan Mulally. In fact, the boss of the American carmaker is tipped with the biggest odds to take over from Ballmer, with the current head of Microsoft being a very strong supporter of Alan Mulally.
Ballmer believes that the Ford boss has everything it takes to continue Redmond’s vision and increase the profitability of the technology titan in the various markets that it competes in.
Former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, former Oracle executive Charles Phillips, former HP CEO Mark Hurd and former Microsoft executive (and current Pivotal CEO) Paul Maritz are also said to be in the running.