Yesterday Microsoft took the unusual step of writing a blog post about its CEO search.
In the post, it revealed two little nuggets of information.
- It will not have a new CEO by the end of this year, contrary to what it had been leading some people to believe.
- It gave a hint about who it wants for the job, saying, “this is a complex role to fill, involving a complex business model and the ability to lead a highly technical organisation and work with top technical talent.”
In response to that blog post, Nomura’s Microsoft analyst Rick Sherlund says he no longer thinks that Ford CEO Alan Mulally is getting the CEO gig at Microsoft. (Sherlund’s latest note is written up at Street Insider.)
Sherlund had been a loud support of Mulally for the job, repeatedly saying he thought Mulally would be CEO.
Now he questions whether Mulally was ever offered the job. He doesn’t know what happened, but speculates that Microsoft may have changed its mind.
He zeroed in on the part about looking for someone to work with top technical talent as a clue that Microsoft moved away from Mulally, who is not a tech guy.
So where does this leave Microsoft? It remains in a holding pattern, trying to find the perfect person for a very difficult job.
Think about what it takes to be CEO of Microsoft:
- You need experience managing a public company.
- You need to understand consumer technology.
- You need to understand enterprise technology.
- You need to be able to manage thousands of employees around the world.
- You have to work with a company that is no longer a leader in tech, but still has the mentality that it is a leader in tech.
- You have a company that’s wildly profitable, yet feels like it’s in a state of turnaround.
- You’ll have to deal with the legacy of Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, who are not going anywhere any time soon.
It’s a challenge! But, in technology, there is literally only one job like this open right now. So, it should be coveted, and Microsoft should be able to find the right person to check all the boxes.