Microsoft board not so keen on Nokia deal at first

Bloomberg BusinessWeek has published a fascinating story on the backroom politics around Steve Ballmer's retirement as Microsoft CEO.

The part of the piece entitled "Microsoft's Nadella Manages Legacy of Ballmer-Board Split" that I found most interesting is the drama around the decision to buy Nokia's handset business. According to reporter Dina Bass and colleagues, the Microsoft board initially was divided over the wisdom of the move, with Ballmer in favor and founder Bill Gates and unnamed other board members opposed.

Microsoft's current CEO Satya Nadella also was initially against the move, but later changed … Read more

Ballmer: Regrets, he's had a few

You'll never confuse him with Frank Sinatra, but in his first public speaking appearance since stepping down as Microsoft's chief executive last month, Steve Ballmer expressed having a few regrets -- but not too many to mention. (Cue the ballad.)

Speaking to students at the University of Oxford on Tuesday, Ballmer reflected on his former company's missteps and made the argument that Microsoft remained in a strong position to catch the next wave of innovation.

"The notion of taking a long-term point of view I think is the number one thing missing in most companies, big, … Read more

Nadella: Our industry respects innovation, not tradition

He wears jeans with a T-shirt and suit coat. Sometimes he wears a hoodie like Mark Zuckerberg. He is a decade younger than his predecessor Steve Ballmer. He grew up in India, but has spent more than half his life in the US. He likes cricket and poetry. He has worked at Microsoft for 22 years, most recently as head of the company's $20 billion cloud and enterprise group. This is Satya Nadella, Microsoft's new CEO.

As he settles into his new role, the question is what will Nadella do different from his predecessor to make Microsoft a … Read more

Microsoft tops Q2 earnings expectations, still no new CEO

This may turn out to be the first earnings report where Microsoft's actual financial results are a sideshow to the main event.

Microsoft reported fiscal second-quarter results Thursday that were better than expected. The company had sales of $24.5 billion and 78 cents per share. Wall Street had expected revenue of $23.7 billion with a profit of 68 cents a share.

But the bigger news -- who will replace Steve Ballmer as the company's next chief executive? -- remains in the realm of a press release, at least for the foreseeable future. The company had nothing … Read more

Rumor redux: So why not John Thompson as Microsoft CEO?

If Microsoft announces anyone other than Bill Gates as the next CEO, the news may come as a letdown to many. But how many times does the guy have to say nope, not really interested before we start believing him?

In his latest comments on the company's nearly 7-month search to find a replacement for Steve Ballmer, Gates offered no evidence of a change of heart. Where does that leave Microsoft?

Plan A was to lure away Alan Mulally from Ford. That turned out to be a pipedream. For the time being he's staying put in Detroit. Plan … Read more

Microsoft CEO search proves again it's still Gates' company

Wanted: Highly motivated, seasoned executive with CEO background to motivate and manage large, multinational software company. Technology background a plus, though not a requirement. Must have ability to execute on large strategic vision and navigate in fast-moving industry.

Still no takers out there?

By my back-of-the-envelope guesstimate, there's no dearth of talented executives qualified to answer the above want ad. But six months after Steve Ballmer announced his plans to step down, Microsoft's board still isn't ready with a replacement candidate.

Amazing. After all, we're not talking about a scenario where the incoming boss needs to … Read more

Ford CEO Mulally makes it official: Not joining Microsoft

Ford CEO Alan Mulally said today that he will not leave the company to join Microsoft.

In an interview with the Associated Press on Tuesday, the highly-coveted executive said that he would stay with Ford at least through 2014. In the last year, speculation about a replacement for outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer had centered on Mulally trading corporate logos. Mulally told the AP that he wanted to quash the Microsoft speculation.

Give the man credit for being consistent. In this 2012 interview, Mulally said that he intended to remain with Ford at least through the end of 2014.

So … Read more

Microsoft: No CEO news until next year

Sorry sports fans, but there won't be any news about the person who will replace Steve Ballmer as Microsoft's next chief executive until sometime early next year.

Board member John Thompson offered that update in a blog post he put out on Tuesday.

"As you would expect, as this group has narrowed, we've done deeper research and investigation, including with the full board. We're moving ahead well, and I expect we'll complete our work in the early part of 2014," Thompson wrote without getting any more specific.

If you're into reading tea … Read more

Microsoft will hire a CEO with his head in the cloud

Microsoft is about to get a new CEO, only the third in its 38-year history. Whoever takes the job knows that the scrutiny will be intense. The expectation is that after a brief honeymoon period the new chief will unveil a plan that could alter the course of Microsoft's history and reveal the fate of Windows, Bing, Xbox, and other parts of the company's product portfolio. Will Bing and Xbox businesses be carved out or sold? How will Windows recover from the decline in PC sales and Microsoft's slow start tapping into the mobile revolution?

Those are … Read more

Microsoft reportedly considering Qualcomm COO as new CEO

Microsoft has reportedly added Steve Mollenkopf, Qualcomm's chief operating officer, to the list of candidates to replace Steve Ballmer as chief executive, according to Bloomberg.

Mollenkopf, 44, is said to be among several candidates under consideration to fill the position as early as by the end of the year, the news agency reported, citing unidentified sources.

The executive has a strong background in technology as the COO of one of the largest chipmakers for mobile devices. He leads Qualcomm's divisions, business operations, market expansion, and development areas. Mollenkopf also works on future technology development activities and the company'… Read more