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Microsoft eyes Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg as potential Ballmer replacement

Likely won't make a decision any time soon
Thu Jan 16 2014, 14:42
Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg

SOFTWARE HOUSE Microsoft reportedly has added another candiate to its potential CEO lineup, Ericsson boss Hans Vestberg.

That's according to Bloomberg, which has heard from people "familiar with the company's plans" that Microsoft is considering 48 year old Ericsson CEO Vestberg as a potential replacement for Steve Ballmer

This is the first time Vestberg's name has been linked to the Microsoft CEO job, and comes just a few months before the firm will have to make its decision, with Ballmer set to leave the company in August 2014.

Microsoft declined to comment on the report, and a spokesperson for Ericsson said, "We never comment on rumours and speculation."

While its still unclear whether these rumours are to be believed, Vestberg could be a good fit for the job. Bloomberg reports that, under Vestberg's leadership, Ericsson's shares have soared 19 percent since 2007, while the firm's revenues are up from 206bn Kronor, or about $32bn, in 2009 to an estimated 225bn Kronor, or almost $35bn, in 2013.

However, reports from last year suggested that Microsoft had already managed to whittle its CEO canadidate list down to three - Ford CEO Alan Mulally, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop and internal candidate Satya Nadella, who is the head of cloud services at Microsoft.

There's also talk that Microsoft interviewed Oracle co-president Mark Hurd for the job, and Qualcomm's CEO Steve Mollenkopf also reportedly was in the running for the role.

Microsoft said that it expects to announce its next CEO in "early 2014", but with the firm seemingly struggling to come to a decision, we don't anticipate an announcement any time soon. µ


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