There have been rumors that Ford CEO Alan Mulally could assume the top job over at Microsoft, whose CEO, Steve Ballmer, will retire within the year. Mulally hasn't come out and said that he's considering moving to Microsoft after (or before) his contract with Ford through 2014 ends, but sources in the know say he's the front-runner to become the tech giant's CEO and has opened up to the idea more in recent weeks, AllThingsD reports.

Mulally is no stranger to Washington, where Microsoft is located, having worked in the state for Seattle-based Boeing Commercial Airplanes as CEO years ago. He also recently was an adviser to Ballmer in an effort to realign the company's management structure to help it become more competitive in a fast-changing computer hardware and software market. And when Ford developed its Sync digital interface, it tapped Microsoft to provide the operating system, Microsoft Auto. Perhaps the least crucial connection - but nonetheless an important one - is that Mulally still owns a house in the Seattle area, and it's been said he wants to return there, according to AllThingsD.

A main challenge Microsoft's next CEO will face is how to manage the company's numerous, fractured operations and, eventually, streamline them. But even on this front, Mulally has experience; after all, it was he who ushered in an era of global Ford vehicles, after the automaker had become complacent developing and selling vehicles by region leading up to the economic recession of 2008-2009.


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  • 49 Comments
      JayLagan
      • 1 Year Ago
      If Alan Mulally does leave Ford, it'll be interesting times over there. It'll be a foregone conclusion that Mark Fields will get the top job and I think, that'll be a poor decision. I've never been convinced of his abilities. For instance, he is often credited as "turning Mazda around", even though, the work was done by a chap called Henry Wallace and Mark Fields just carried on his plan. Then, Mr Fields went to to the Premium Automotive Group and couldn't turn that around. Then, he became head of the Americas division and presided over its slide into near bankruptcy, until Mulally came. Also, I have watched many interviews with Mark Fields and I've never heard one interview where he didn't just spout a load of "management speak". I think that Jim Farley would be a better choice; he really changed Ford's marketing to make them relevant again (though, it was helped by an improved product to sell). And even better choice, but he's retired now, would have been Lewis Booth. If Ford decided to look outside for a new CEO, then Carlos Tavares might be available.... :O) But like I always say, "what do I know....?" :O)
      Technoir
      • 1 Year Ago
      Great businessman and leader.
      rcavaretti
      • 1 Year Ago
      I don't know, but I would feel more comfortable with someone who actually has experience in the software and hardware business, if I was on the board.
      Love Great Danes
      • 1 Year Ago
      Wonder if he is trying to reboot his career
      billfrombuckhead
      • 1 Year Ago
      Mulally getting out of town before all those turbos blow up just like he got out of Boeing before all the Dreamliner problems. It's sad this guy is held up as some genius just for following common sense. Bill Ford was terrible but perhaps Ballmer has destroyed even more capital so Mulally might be a good fit at Microsoft.. For all the money American CEO's get, the return is just dreadful. Mulally's real legacy on the plus side is that Ford survived. On the negative is the "Lincoln Motorcar Company" and all those turbos
      James
      • 1 Year Ago
      Ford has failed to crack the import heavy east and west coast market. Ford talks like they have made big market share gains on the coasts, but most new Fords appear to have rental bar codes on them. Furthermore, Ford scores poorly in Consumer Reports brand report card. Also, Toyota is outselling Ford in the US for 2 months. Finally, large numbers of new Ford products are being dumped into rental fleets. These fleet dumps are profitable since the government has manipulated fleet prices up with their restructuring of GM and Chrysler. Ford is not a success story. It is easy to turn a profit when the government is dumping 10s of billions into the US automakers and suppliers. Mullay will run MSFT.
        Clipper44
        • 1 Year Ago
        @James
        From Forbes.com: \"Edmunds.com senior analyst Michelle Krebs said Wednesday’s better-than-expected results almost across the board were “even more positive than the overall numbers imply,” because it was individual buyers, and not fleet sales (those to rental car companies, governments and big corporations) driving the increase.\" If a company has it\'s best sales month in 7 years, which Ford did.. by any measure that\'s a good thing. Quit being silly and talkin\' out of your a$$.
          James
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Clipper44
          But, the momentum was all being driven by the Japanese. They took market share from Ford as well as the other big 3. Detroit is nothing more than a government welfare program living off cheap government money. People on the coasts are not fooled by the constant media cheering of Detroit vehicles on behalf of Obama.
          rlog100
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Clipper44
          James its 2013, not 1983.
        rlog100
        • 1 Year Ago
        @James
        I think you\'re confusing the financial sector for the auto industry, they are the ones that government money should be talked about in the present tense.
      mongo615
      • 1 Year Ago
      How'd our last businessman president do??? What about the one before him??? Businessmen do not make good presidents.
        Rob
        • 1 Year Ago
        @mongo615
        You know what makes a worse president? A community organizer.
      Edsel
      • 1 Year Ago
      Mulally saved Ford and now he will save Microsoft.
      VL00
      • 1 Year Ago
      Based on the much derided MS Sync system, Mulally doesn't know the first thing about tech and customer experience. But go to MS, I'd love to see them driven down further. PS. Why is Ballmer walking away with 10 billion of dollars after bringing down the value of MS by $330 Billion? Executive pay in this country is so out of whack its criminal.
        thequebecerinfrance
        • 1 Year Ago
        @VL00
        Because he has stock options? And the company went down because of bad decisions that where taken even before he was there. I do agree that executive pay is out of whack but it is not happening only in the US but every where. It just worse in the US because of the even crazier numbers.
          VL00
          • 1 Year Ago
          @thequebecerinfrance
          He ran the place for 13 years, his legacy is his own, the current state of the company is his making.
      Street King
      • 1 Year Ago
      You left out a HUGE part of why he's #1 to end up there. When he came to Ford he used the "One Ford" strategy which meant focusing on Ford and dumping Rover, Jag, Volvo, Mazda, Aston Martin etc. Microsofts current CEO saw that and started the "One Microsoft" turn around plan which is being directly copied from Mulallys Ford idea. That's why he's going there, they named it, now they want Alan to DO IT.
      groingo
      • 1 Year Ago
      Microsoft needs someone with a new approach, couldn't do any worse than Ballmer plus Mulally brings energy and charisma to an old stodgy Microsoft.
      Teleny411
      • 1 Year Ago
      Take the millions and enjoy your family.
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