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Elop, Mulally on Microsoft CEO shortlist

Recruitment process could still take several months, say insiders

Microsoft has narrowed its CEO candidate list.
Microsoft has narrowed its CEO candidate list.

Microsoft has whittled its CEO external candidate list down to around five names, including Ford Motor Co chief Alan Mulally and former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, Reuters reported.

Internal nominees to replace outgoing Steve Ballmer include former Skype CEO Tony Bates and current cloud and enterprise boss Satya Nadella.

Insiders said that the recruitment process could still take several months.

In September, Mulally's name was put forward by Microsoft investors keen to see a turnaround specialist at the helm. Yesterday Ford spokesman Jay Cooney said: "There is no change from what we announced last November. Alan remains fully focused on continuing to make progress on our One Ford plan. We do not engage in speculation."

Elop headed Microsoft's business software division before his 2010 move to Nokia where he tried to turn around the Finnish vendor's lacklustre response to the smartphone revolution. He phased out Symbian and adopted his former employer's Windows Phone platform, but with mixed results.

Microsoft is still profitable but has failed to gain much ground in the emergent mobility platform space from rivals Apple and Google.