Sources tell AllThingsD that one name frequently mentioned as a possible successor to Microsoft‘s (MSFT) outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer has become interested in the position and now is in the lead to take the top office at the software giant.
Just weeks ago, Ford (F) CEO Alan Mulally dismissed speculation that he planned to leave the automaker, saying that he was “focused on serving Ford.” However, the 68-year-old is said to have become more open to the idea. Microsoft is based in Seattle, where Mulally already has a home. He also once served as Ballmer’s adviser, offering guidance about trying to restructure the tech company.
Earlier this month, Ford’s board of directors relaxed Mulally’s contractual commitment to the company. The internal race to succeed Mulally at Ford has reportedly produced its own lead candidate, who appears to have the board’s confidence.
Another candidate in the running for the top spot at Microsoft is Nokia (NOK) CEO Stephen Elop. The software-maker acquired the struggling Finnish handset maker earlier this month.
Shares of Microsoft climbed more than 1% in Friday morning trading, while Ford fell about 1%.