) stock dropped 2.41% on Thursday, closing at $38, on word that
) chief Alan Mulally plans to stay in his current job role until
the end of 2014, and is presumably not available to take the CEO
job at Microsoft, as many investors had evidently hoped.
The sources of this information about Mulally reported by Bloomberg
News, were pretty good. They included Edsel Ford II, head of the
board of directors and a great-grandson of company founder Henry
Ford. And, they were confirmed by Mulally.
Speaking on Bloomberg TV on Thursday, Mulally said he planned to
stay at Ford. "I love serving Ford, and there is no change in the
plan," he told Bloomberg TV on Thursday.
Neither of those comments were quite emphatic enough for some
analysts, who responded, in effect, "plans change."
But if Mulally sticks to his statement, that leaves just one top
candidate for the CEO job at Microsoft: Satya Nadella.
Satya who? Well, he might not have the self-promotion gene that is
so prominent in many of the top executives of our era, but Satya
Nadella does not lack other credentials for the job.
A Microsoft employee since 1992, Nadella is Executive Vice
President of the company's Cloud and Enterprise Group, and is
widely credited with Microsoft's successful move to cloud
computing. He has had a wide range of executive roles at the
company, including a stint as president of its $19 billion Server
and Tools business.
In 2011, when Nadalla was named to run the Servers and Tools
division, retiring CEO Steve Ballmer's internal email described him
as meeting the job requirement for "the right mix of leadership,
vision, and hard-core engineering chops."
Notably, that mix does not include prior experience as a CEO.
Some Microsoft watchers had envisioned Mulally, who is 69, stepping
in as a transitional leader, while grooming Nadella to succeed him.
(Nadella, born in 1969, is a mere colt by CEO standards.)
Mulally and Nadella are hardly the only two candidates out there,
reported just last week
that the short list had dwindled, with one of those two deemed most
They were seen as having an edge over two other prominent
candidates: Tony Bates, another insider and said to be the favorite
of Silicon Valley denizens, and Stephen Elop, the Microsoft veteran
who left to run
) but returned as part of the package that included the sale of
Nokia's handset business to Microsoft.
That leaves Nadella and, not surprisingly, "the excitement is
palpable" at MIT-that's the Manipal Institute of
Technology-according to Mumbai-based
news site DNAindia.com
Born in Hyderabad, Nadella received his bachelor's degree in
engineering from the prestigious Manipal Institute before earning
master's degrees in engineering and business from US universities.
He worked at Sun Microsystems before joining Microsoft.
If he's a superstar within Microsoft, Nadella seems to keep a low
profile in the wider world. He uses his
to promote his division's Microsoft products. He let a reference to
a cricket match slip in once, but that's about it for personal
The media in India, which naturally takes a strong interest,
reports that Nadella is married to an alumnus of his own school,
the Hyderabad Public School. He played cricket for the school team.
And he visits his parents back home in India every year.
Being a local success story, he can't avoid the Indian media
altogether. Asked by
the Deccan Chronicle
for his keys to success, he said, "Be passionate and bold. Always
keep learning. You stop doing useful things if you don't learn."
Microsoft is expected to name its new CEO by the end of the year.
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