Microsoft may finally choose a new CEO to succeed outgoing chief executive Steve Ballmer next week, and the likely candidate is Satya Nadella, vice president of Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise group, according to reports from tech blog Re/code.
Micosoft courted Ford CEO Alan Mulally for the top slot but he said he has no plans to leave his company. Information that Nadella is in the lead for the CEO position comes from sources close to Microsoft cited by Kara Swisher, formerly of The Wall Street Journal, who formed Re/code with another top tech writer Walt Mossberg, formerly of the Journal's AllThingsD blog.
Many of the other candidates for CEO rumored in recent months have been current or former employees of the company, including former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, who headed Microsoft's business division from January 2008 to September 2010. Microsoft remains profitable despite the decline of the PC market that was once its foundation, but the company failed to take advantage of the rise of mobile and cloud technologies since 2000. To innovate and compete with its Silicon Valley rivals, Microsoft needs an outsider CEO's perspective to shake up the status quo at the company and get its employees to consider new strategies, David Cearley, the lead Microsoft analyst at technology research firm Gartner has said.
Nadella joined Microsoft in 1992 and is a likely pick for the job because he is the least controversial because of that tenure at the company, and because the tech giant is too complex for an outsider to navigate, according to sources cited by Re/code.