Tomahawk, WI 12/16/2013 (BasicsMedia) – Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is looking for a replacement Chief Executive Officer amid challenges and opportunities for the company. Selection of the next CEO is the most followed activity around the company today.

The direction which the company takes in the upcoming years is largely dependent on who will be leading at the front. The selection of the new top executive to replace the outgoing Steve Ballmer is viewed in terms of experience, energy, salary and the question of insider versus outsider.

Filling the CEO position from inside is always the easiest option. This is what U.S. automaker giant General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) has done by announcing Mary Barra the replacement CEO for the outgoing Daniel Akerson. However, in the competitive business environment, more so in the dynamic tech industry, casting the net wider for a top executive is always necessary.

Complex choice

This explains why Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is searching for its next CEO from its internal talents as well as outsiders. Among the outsiders in the race include Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F)’s CEO Alan Mulally and former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop.

Looking at the stock, it seems investors are buying into the prospects of Mulally joining the software company. Mulally has a history of turning companies around. He has been able to turnaround Ford from a loss-making company into a profit company. He is the kind of candidate that investors believe can help MSFT take on the mounting competition in the industry and likewise help return value to investors.

However, the challenge is it is not known for sure whether Mulally would be interested in the job. The reason for this doubt is that Ford still needs him to take it forward. Another reason has to do with his experience in running a technology company. Yet another reason is the factor of compensation.

Age could also be a major factor of concern in the selection of Mulally who is now at 68. As Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) seeks to go big in hardware and service business, the company needs an energetic leader. In this regard, Mulally may not meet the cut.

As for Elop, the former head of Nokia and a one-time employee at Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT), his lackluster performance in the previously held CEO position at the Finnish company could complicate the picture for his selection.He is, however, energetic and adept with technology matters.

SatyaNadella, currently the Head of Cloud at Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is reported to be a leading contender. As an insider, the selection panel must consider the candidature of Nadella critically, but compared to Mulally and Elop, he trails in experience at the top of a big corporation the size of MSFT.


Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) requires a CEO who has extensive experience and a profile that can help the company connect easily with the market to beat the competition. As such, a good CEO could come at a cost for the company. It is reported that the outgoing CEO, Ballmer, earned around $1.26 million in the fiscal ending June, but owned about 4 percent of the company’s outstanding shares. In comparison, Mulally earned around $21 million according to Bloomberg data.

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