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Ford CEO denies plans to leave for Microsoft

Various market rumours pointed at Alan Mulally, current chief executive officer (CEO) of Ford Motor Co., as a potential candidate to be Microsoft Corp.’s next head, despite of the fact that he never disclosed plans to leave his current position. This week, the man who led reshaping of Ford several years ago, officially declined plans to leave the automaker for the software company.

“I would like to end the Microsoft speculation because I have no other plans to do anything other than serve Ford,” said Alan Mulally in an interview with Associated Press news-agency. “You don't have to worry about me leaving.”

Alan Mulally returned Ford to profitability, restructured the company and made its products more competitive than they were some ten years ago. Many reports in the recent months named him as a potential successor for Steve Ballmer, current CEO of the software giant who announced plans to retire last August. However, some pointed out that at the age of 68, Mr. Mulally cannot be far of a retirement himself.

Since August, 2013, the world’s largest developer of software has reportedly considered many candidates, including external and internal people, for the CEO role. Among the leading internal candidates were named Satya Nadella, executive vice president of Microsoft’s cloud and enterprise group; Tony Bates, executive vice president of Microsoft responsible for business development, strategy and evangelism (previously he served as the president of Skype division of Microsoft); and Steven Elop, who will lead Microsoft’s smartphone division once it is established in Q1 2014 and who was responsible for Microsoft Office programs until 2010.

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All of the internal candidates are experienced executives with deep knowledge of Microsoft, its technologies and traditions. While such qualities are clearly valuable, many believe that the lack of personal affection towards everything that Microsoft has ever developed would be a big advantage for the next CEO of the company.

“Out of respect for the process and the potential candidates, we don't comment on individual names,” a statement by Microsoft regarding Mr. Mulally reads.

KitGuru Says: While the new chief executive officer of Microsoft will likely add his or her touch to organization of the company, it is logical to expect the next CEO to follow the grand “One Microsoft” plan revealed by Steve Ballmer earlier in 2013. Instead of offering individual programs, going forward Microsoft wants to concentrate on creating a tightly integrated eco-system of software, hardware and services that can serve customers in many ways. 

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