Sources tell Bloomberg that the head of Microsoft’s enterprise and cloud business, Satya Nadella, is now firmly in the lead to become the next MSFT CEO. While the plans aren’t a lock just yet, the MSFT board of directors could name Nadella as CEO soon.
In addition to tapping Nadella as the new MSFT CEO, Microsoft’s board is also said to be contemplating the ousting of co-founder Bill Gates as chairman. If he steps down, Gates would reportedly be replaced by MSFT independent director John Thompson.
MSFT has been considering a range of candidates since Ballmer announced plans to retire over the summer. Ford (F) CEO Alan Mulally had been considered a leading candidate, but he announced earlier this month that he would remain with the nation’s second-largest automaker through the end of this year.
Some MSFT stakeholders have urged the board to oust Gates in order to give the new MSFT CEO an unrestricted hand in charting a new course for the software giant.
One of the richest men in the world, Gates now spends most of his time pursuing philanthropic activities through his Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Shares of MSFT stock sank slightly in Friday morning trading. MSFT stock has gained more than 34% over the past year.