Who will be Microsoft's next CEO? Reuters is reporting that the company now has a shortlist of just about five names, including Ford CEO Alan Mulally, former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, Microsoft cloud boss Satya Nadella, and former Skype president Tony Bates. Citing anonymous sources, the publication writes that the hiring process could still take a few more months and that Microsoft is still interviewing other candidates — challenging a previous rumor that the company might have a new chief executive by the end of the year.
All four men had previously been rumored to be prime candidates for the position, though Ford's Mulally has received more attention than most. Not only is he the only outsider (Elop only had a brief stint at Nokia) and the man credited with reinvigorating the Ford brand, but Steve Ballmer himself is also a fan of Mulally's work. However, the Ford CEO has said he has no plans to leave his current position, and a Ford spokesman reiterated that stance to Reuters today.