Microsoft Investors Reportedly Push Board To Consider Ford CEO As Possible Ballmer Replacement

The hunt for a replacement to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is on, and with it have come many possible candidates, including Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, as we noted earlier this month. According to sources who spoke with Reuters, some of Microsoft's investors are leaning a different direction, saying they want a "turnaround expert" while citing a couple of individuals they want added to the candidate pool.

Said these sources, a minimum of three of Microsoft's top 20 investors have requested that the company's board consider both Computer Science Corp's CEO Mike Lawrie and Ford Motor Co.'s CEO Alan Mulally as possible replacements for current CEO Ballmer, who announced in the recent past that he will soon be stepping down from his position. According to these same sources, a new CEO could be pegged by the end of 2013.

Reportedly, both the board committee responsible for finding the next CEO and advisers have been meeting with the company's shareholders. In such a meeting, a list of 40 possible external and internal candidates were presented, with that number having been whittled down since then. Who these other candidates are is unknown to the sources, however.

The sources are also unsure of whether any of the investor-suggested candidates have been considered or approached by Microsoft, and they did not name who the investors are that suggested the two CEOs named above. In case you missed it, the announcement of CEO Ballmer's retirement was made early on August 23, with the executive slated to leave the company within the next 12 months.