Microsoft urged to hire turnaround specialist
Top investors suggest Ford’s Mulally, Computer Sciences’ Lawrie as CEO candidates
At least three of Microsoft's major investors have urged the board's special committee to consider Ford Motor Co CEO Alan Mulally and Computer Sciences Corp CEO Mike Lawrie as replacements for Steve Ballmer, Reuters reported today.
The special committee is said to have started its search for a new chief executive with a list of around 40 names, including internal and external candidates. According to Reuters, at least three of the company's top 20 investors want to see a boss with a track record of turning companies around.
The news of Ballmer's planned retirement, sometime within the next year, caused a rally in Microsoft's shares of 7%. While the company has remained profitable, its new devices and services strategy has yet to convince investors and last week's $7.1bn purchase of Nokia's loss-making device business saw shares fall as much as 6%.
Mulally, 68, is expected to remain at Ford until 2014. But Reuters cited insiders who said he could be attracted to a new role sooner if it was sufficiently appealing.
"Alan Mulally plans to continue to serve as Ford's president and CEO through at least 2014," Ford spokesman Jay Cooney said.
Lawrie is a career IT executive who first turned around UK-based financial software company Misys Plc before joining Computer Sciences Corp in 2012 where he implemented a long-term rescue plan.