Microsoft CEO search continues at unusually slow pace
Kara Swisher reports, that there will be no new Microsoft CEO this month as the list continually contracts and expands. A source tells her: “This is a Gates search, even though the board is very involved,” “But nothing is going to happen without him, especially since he will be much more involved in the company going forward.” Gates remains Microsoft' largest shareholder but is very close to being passed up by Ballmer as Gates has divested a mass amount of shares over the last decade. If his divestures continue at a similar rate as they have, Ballmer will be the number one shareholder by 2015.
Ballmer's decision to leave has kicked off a very slow process that has some pushing for internal candidates and others pushing for people like Ford's (F) Alan Mulalley who recently said he wouldn't leave the automaker for Microsoft.
Many indications point to an internal candidate as after Ballmer's departure, Microsoft purchased Nokia (NOK)'s devices and services division and initiated a major restructuring to form the company as more of a Devices and Services corporation. Ballmer's tenure has repeatedly come under fire as investors have pointed to a languishing stock price since he was appointed CEO. The results have not been all good with failures such as Windows ME and Vista but the reality is that Steve Ballmer took charge of Microsoft in 2000 during the height of the dot com madness. Profits have been good but their response to the iPhone was not swift and it's current efforts haven't caught on as quickly as investors would like.