IPHONE LOBBER Stephen Elop is the bookies favourite to take over from Steve Ballmer when he leaves Microsoft next year.
Betting firm Ladbrokes has released its odds for the most likely candidates for the Microsoft chief executive job. In at top slot, with narrow odds of only 5/1 is Nokia chief and former Microsoft exec Elop, whose biggest achievement recently has been jokingly throwing an iPhone across the room during an interview, garnering lots of media coverage.
Elop could be a savvy choice if Microsoft is determined to go mobile-first across the organisation. Rising sales of Windows Mobile on Nokia handsets indicate that Elop has the right approach for breaking into this hotly contested market, but while Microsoft has managed to overtake BlackBerry as number three smartphone platform, it’s still far behind Android and iOS.
Coming in a very close second favourite at 6/1 is Kevin Turner, current chief operating officer at Microsoft and former CIO at Wal-Mart, so he could prove a popular choice with the finance team for exploiting workers and driving down wage costs at the supermarket giant.
Ex-Microsofter Steve Sinofsky and current VP of devices Julie Larson-Green are both in at 8/1, followed by several other ex- and current Microsoft execs.
Founder Bill Gates is an outside shot at only 50/1, even though many in the industry see him as the logical choice.
Even though many would love to see a total outside being brought in to take on the reins, this is seen as very unlikely by the bookies, who are giving long odds to candidates like Yahoo chief and ex-Googler Marissa Meyer, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey and Apple design guru Jony Ive.
Perhaps Microsoft will surprise us all and bring in an unknown outsider rather than one of its own execs – but the odds of this seem about as likely as the 100/1 being offered for Apple chief Tim Cook. µ