Microsoft is currently searching for a new CEO to replace Steve Ballmer, who plans to retire within the next 10 months. Recent reports suggest the company has shortlisted Ford CEO Alan Mulally and former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop as external candidates. Mulally has stated he has no intentions to leave Ford, but a Bloomberg report claims that Stephen Elop has big plans if he’s made CEO. After a brief stint as the head of Microsoft’s business division, responsible for Office and other products, Elop’s return to Microsoft in the CEO position would reportedly involve a push for Office on Android and iOS.
Microsoft became the world’s largest software provider under Ballmer and co-founder Bill Gates by making Windows-based PCs running Office applications an industry standard. When the Redmond, Washington-based company failed to come up with hit Windows-based phones and tablets, that left it with little role in the mobile market. Its refusal to adapt Office for Apple and devices based on Google’s Android operating system hasn’t helped its software usage.
Elop is reportedly considering a strategy shift away from Microsoft’s tradition of Office running primarily on Windows PCs. Bloomberg reports that Elop is formulating “some broad strategic outlines for Microsoft,” in what is likely to be part of the interview process for the CEO position. Elop’s potential strategy is said to involve maximizing sales of Office instead of using it to push Windows PC and tablet sales. Microsoft’s Office and server software has been performing well in recent financial results, while Windows continues to struggle alongside a declining PC industry. Although Office has launched for iOS andAndroid, Microsoft could certainly do more to offer complete versions on those rival platforms.
Bloomberg also suggests that Elop is willing to shut down or sell some major Microsoft businesses. Elop would reportedly considering killing off the company’s Bing search engine, while contemplating selling the Xbox business.
Do you think the best option for Elop is to Kill Bing and Sell Xbox if he is made the CEO of Microsoft?