A few days ago, we heard some interesting gossip about Microsoft’s CEO search.
This gossip was from a trusted source, but it’s still second-hand information — so take it with a grain of salt.
Anyway, the juicy bit of information is this: Microsoft’s top Internet executive, Qi Lu, is a big fan of Ford CEO Alan Mulally.
That’s a big deal because Lu is widely respected and admired at Microsoft. He’s also influential, with R&D responsibility for a huge swath of Microsoft products, including Microsoft Office, Office 365, SharePoint, Exchange, Yammer, Lync, Skype, Bing, Bing Apps, MSN and Microsoft’s Advertising tech.
Apparently, Qi had a long meeting with Mulally, and came out of it telling Microsoft colleagues that he is deeply impressed with the Ford CEO.
Word is that Mulally successfully presented himself as an engineer who became an executive — and would run Microsoft with an engineer’s mindset.
Mulally began his career at Boeing as an aerospace engineer. He was Vice President of Engineering in Boeing’s commercial airline division before taking on broader responsibilities as senior vice president of Aeroplane Development in 1994.
Our source doesn’t know if Mulally is going to become the CEO of Microsoft. After a letter from the board in early December updating shareholders on the search, some analysts even think it’s unlikely that Mulally will get the job.
Our source’s point was that one reservation some people have about Mulally — that he won’t be able to run an engineering-driven company — can be put aside.