Board Gives Permission For Ford CEO Alan Mulally To Leave Early

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Ford CEO Alan Mulally’s name comes up often as a possible replacement for retiring Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.  On the surface it seems like a good idea.  Mulally has an engineering background and revamped Boeing and Ford.  Mulally and Ballmer are friends, especially given both their connections to Detroit.  In 2009 Ballmer wrote the introduction for Mulally when he was named in Time magazine’s top 100 people.  While I do not want to get into a lengthy discussion of why I do not think Mulally is right for Microsoft as CEO, consider the fact that he is 68 years and was set to retire from Ford at the end of 2014.  I do think Mulally would be able to provide great insights for Microsoft and might be a great board member.

The Ford board has warmed up to Mark Fields, their current COO, as a natural successor to Mulally and are now comfortable allowing him to retire when he sees fit.  This would allow Mulally to pursue the position of Microsoft CEO if he desires it.  In a statement to AllThingsD Mulally stated:

“I continue to be focused on serving our Ford … and I have my red Ford vest on right now!!” –Alan Mulally, Ford CEO

Source: Yahoo Finance



About Author

Suril is a scientist, journalist and obsessive Microsoft observer. He holds an advanced degree in Biotechnology with minors in Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology. Send him tips on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/surilamin

  • Yuan Taizong

    Microsoft needs an charismatic and ”inside” C.E.O. many contenders within Microsoft do it better.

    • Yuan Taizong

      But I must respect Mulally for his miracle work at Ford during the last years.

      • lipper2000

        He really is no miracle worker…he secured financing because the company was almost insolvent, just before the economic collapse of 2007/2008…he sold off non-essential parts of Ford like Volvo and the premium group (which was a mistake and they are now being run better than when Ford ran them)….
        I think Elop would do better

    • Guest

      Disagree. While the company has kept growing over the last decade, competitively it’s been handed its ass by Apple, Google, and others. Any inside candidate is going to be senior, meaning they’ve spent decades steeped in the same culture and thinking that has seen MS go from the most dominant company in the industry to one where people are now concerned about its future. An outsider brings a much needed fresh perspective.

  • Guest

    “I have my red Ford vest on right now”, LOL
    If it’s Ford, it should be a Blue Vest.

  • Blaze Blue

    Yeah but what do he know about running a software company as big as Microsoft?

  • pdouglas

    So you want a dude who is almost 70 running MS? And he’s to bring a fresh perspective to the company? I’m sure Mulally is good at what he does, but I think he should relax, spend time with his family, play golf, and enjoy his retirement when he is ready.

  • Duk3togo

    A great board member I say yes, better than Elop I personally don’t think so. Elop has experience on both sides of the fence and has 3 years experience in Nokia and international markets. My vote Elop.

    • koenshaku

      I agree, Elop would make an excellent CEO for MS.

    • The1nChicago

      Ford is an international company as well. That said Mulally is an engineer but in my opinion neither deserve the job. MS needs an aggressive, savvy and take no prisoners type CEO and neither is up to the challenge.

      • Duk3togo

        Ballmer was an aggressive take no prisoners type of CEO. While he wasn’t a bad CEO it led to many companies and people to look the other way. What we need is a CEO that appeals to people and the media. This is where l believe Elop will succeed.

        • Guest

          He said aggressive and *savvy*. Ballmer was the former but not the latter.

  • AS147

    That’s a definite “NO!” Just one of many reasons, he comes from a background of long product cycles and heavy regulation, whilst he may have been deemed revolutionary at Ford etc. the speed at which IT product cycles move would be so foreign to him he would end up causing the complete opposite effect that MS is looking for which is great and very speedy insight into what next not just for MS but for IT in general.