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What does Microsoft need in its next CEO?

Posted October 10, 2013

Does Microsoft Corp. need co-CEOs to succeed Steve Ballmer? Or does it need a benevolent dictator?

Would it be better served by a tech visionary or a good turnaround manager at the helm?

Since Ballmer announced he would retire as CEO once his successor has been found – something expected before the end of next August – there have been plenty of rumors and speculation.

The Seattle Times asked several tech, management and business experts what they think Microsoft needs in its next chief executive and what they think of some of the top-rumored candidates: Alan Mulally, Ford’s chief executive and former Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO; Paul Maritz, Pivotal chief executive, former VMware CEO and a former top-ranking Microsoft executive; Stephen Elop, most recently Nokia CEO, who will return to being a top-ranking Microsoft executive once the company’s purchase of Nokia is finalized; and Tony Bates, former Skype president and current Microsoft executive vice president for business development and evangelism.

Whoever takes the helm will have control of a corporate behemoth that last fiscal year saw nearly $78 billion in sales, produces the most-used computer operating system, and has tentacles in nearly every aspect of consumer and business computing.

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