On Tuesday, Microsoft said its executive search committee expects to pick CEO Steve Ballmer’s successor by early next year, a decision that could determine two strikingly different paths for the software giant’s future.
In order to fill the role, Microsoft’s search committee said it has identified more than 100 potential nominees. The board member, John Thompson says “The committee, which incorporates Chairman Bill Gates, has discussed with many potential candidates and focused its energy on a group of about twenty individuals”.
The company, facing a battered PC market, has been reported considered current insiders, former Microsoft executives, as well as marquee business executives to map its next course in a new mobile frontier.
Thompson said on Microsoft’s blog, “I expect we will complete our work in the early part of 2014 as we are moving ahead well.”
Among others, Microsoft has been reported taking into account at least two boomerang employees in the likes of Paul Maritz and Stephen Elop as well as current company insiders Tony Bates and Satya Nadella to date.
However, analyst and former Microsoft employee Rocky Agrawal says the software juggernaut needs someone more along the lines of Yammer’s CEO and founder to right its direction. “(David) Sacks is still my top pick,” Agrawal says. “I have spent some time with him. I know they need someone like him, having worked at Microsoft.”