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Microsoft mulls Ericsson boss for CEO

by on16 January 2014

Hans across the water

Ericsson Chief Executive Hans Vestberg is being rumoured as a possible successor to outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer. It is all a rumour of course, but so far his name has not come up in any other of the “Ballmer replacement” rumours so it could be true.

It is not clear if Redmond has asked Vestberg, who as CEO of the Swedish firm runs one of the world's largest telecommunications equipment makers. Wall Street was a little surprised that his name came up at all. Potential candidates ranging from company insiders Satya Nadella and Tony Bates to several outsiders. Most of them expected Ford Motor CEO Alan Mulally to take the top job but he took himself off the list recently.

Sources familiar with the company claim that with Mulally out of the running, the list of candidates able to run a globe-spanning software corporation struggling to expand into the mobile software and devices markets was thin. In a blog post on the company's website in December, Microsoft's lead independent director John Thompson, who is spearheading the search, emphasized the need for a CEO with good tech credentials and "an ability to lead a highly technical organization and work with top technical talent."

Microsoft is expected to come up with an announcement on a new CEO by February at the latest.

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