The report comes from Reuters, which claims that alongside Mulally, former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop and three candidates from within Microsoft are on the short list to succeed Steve Ballmer at the company's helm, although previous reports claim the Ford exec is the number one candidate. Mulally is currently working without a contract, although Bill Ford seems to believe that he isn't likely to depart. Despite this belief, Ford was quoted just last month talking about the depth of talent on the Blue Oval's executive team.
"There is no change from what we announced last November. Alan remains fully focused on continuing to make progress on our One Ford plan. We do not engage in speculation," said Ford spokesman Jay Cooney.
We first reported on rumors of Mulally departing for Microsoft in early September, when a report from AllThingsD claimed he was being considered for the Microsoft job. Since then, Ford has reiterated its position that Mulally will likely stay through 2014, although the company would be accepting of the exec stepping down earlier than that.