Microsoft has shortened its list of potential successors to replace CEO Steve Ballmer, according to Reuters.
In this group is Ford CEO Alan Mulally, former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, Microsoft Executive VP Tony Bates, and Microsoft cloud and enterprise chief Satya Nadella. Reuters was unable to get other names, but a source familiar with the matter said there was at least one other internal candidate and a total of more or less five contenders.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who has led the company for the past 13 years, announced in August that he would retire within 12 months once a replacement is found who will carry out Microsoft's new vision of offering more devices and services. The company's board has formed a special committee to seek out potential candidates. Meeting with Microsoft's shareholders, the committee has been narrowing down its list of possible successors from an initial 40 people, both internal and external.
Names that were floated over the past couple of months but were not mentioned to Reuters are Computer Sciences CEO Mike Lawrie, former Windows Chief Steven Sinofsky, and former Juniper Networks CEO Kevin Johnson.
While Ballmer is expected to leave Microsoft within the next several months, recent reports say the seat change could happen as soon as the end of this year. According to Reuters, however, the process may take longer.
When contacted by CNET, Microsoft declined to comment.