Last week Steve Ballmer announced that he will be retiring from Microsoft CEO in the next 12 months. During that time a team will be looking through candidates, and eventually pick a new CEO. This is obviously a very critical time for Microsoft. “8” has become an important number at Microsoft, so here is our list of 8 people who could become the next CEO.
1. Tony Bates, executive VP, business development and evangelism
Bates joined Microsoft when they acquired Skype. After being the head of Skype Division he was promoted to become head of business development. Many pundits believe Bates has a strong change at becoming CEO based on his experience in enterprise and consumer trades.
2. Julie Larson Greene, executive VP, devices and studios group
Julie has been the face of Microsoft at many of their recent events. This year she continued to rise through the ranking as she became the head of Microsoft’s new Devices and Studios Engineering Group. Julie is doing big things at Microsoft.
3. Terry Myerson, executive VP, operating systems
Earlier this year Terry was promoted to the head of Microsoft’s new Operating Systems Engineering division. He was responsible for deciding to scrap Windows Mobile, hiring Joe Belfiore, and was critical in the Nokia partnership.
4. Kevin Turner, COO
At one time Turner was believed by many to be the replacement for Ballmer, but in recent times he has lost power at Microsoft. In his eight years as COO, Turner has driven a strong track record of results. It might not matter if employees don’t like him.
5. Tami Reller, Executive VP of Marketing
Marketing is always a big deal, which makes the head of it an important person. Reller joined Microsoft in 2001 when they acquired Great Plains Software.
6. Satya Nadella, Executive VP
Nadella has a lot of experience in several different areas at Microsoft. Currently he is president of the Server and Tools Business, but before that he worked as VP of R&D for Bing, MSN, and advertising, led the Business Solutions unit, and worked in cloud and enterprise.
7. Stephen Elop, CEO, Nokia
This man needs almost n introduction. As CEO of Nokia he orchestrated the partnership with Microsoft to become the leading Windows Phone 8 handset manufacturer in the world. Elop is a good leader, but it’s not likely he will become CEO.
8. Steven Sinofsky, former Windows Chief
We’ll close the list with a long shot. Sinofsky left suddenly in late 2012, but it’s not clear whether he was forced out or left on his own. He recently got a nw gig at Andreesen Horowitz as a board member. Sinofsky is famous for riding on a Surface tablet like a skateboard, but don’t count on him riding back into Microsoft.
Do you have any suggestions? Who would you like to see lead Microsoft? Should Bill Gates come back?