Microsoft CEO hunt enters interview stage as sources leak potential candidates

Microsoft has been in an active hunt for a new CEO following Steve Ballmer's announcement that he'll be leaving the company shortly. The process has entered the one-on-one interview stage, according to sources who spoke with The Wall Street Journal. These same sources have also detailed a list of individuals reportedly approached by the search committee, with some having been in talks as recently as this past week.

According to these sources, Microsoft has thus far spoken to Ford Motor Co.'s Alan Mulally, something we've already spoken of in the past, as well as Oracle's President Mark Hurd, and Nokia's Stephen Elop, another name that has already been dropped as a potential candidate. Beyond those individuals, the company has reportedly also approached two of its own executives and five other outsiders, none of whom were named.

Some of these candidates were said to have been approached last week, with it being the first time Microsoft spoke to them to gauge possible interest in taking on the position. Beyond that, a source that spoke to the WSJ claims that the search committee has engaged in one-on-one interviews with some of the candidates, though another says that the complete company board is yet to do the same.

The process of selecting a new CEO isn't proving easy, with no candidate having all the skills needed to cover all of Microsoft's bases. According to the sources, the company's board is determining what CEO is best for the job in such a way that executives could use their own experience to fill holes where the chief executive would be lacking. It boils down to whether Microsoft is better suited for a tech-centric CEO, or a chief executive with experience at taking the helm of such a large business.

The board reportedly wants to name a new CEO by the beginning of 2014.

SOURCE: The Wall Street Journal