Is Microsoft Close to Picking a CEO?

Steve BallmerThe clock is ticking to choose a successor to Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer, but reports indicate the company’s board hasn’t come close to a decision, though they have set a time-frame for drawing up a shortlist. What everyone agrees on is the importance of fundamental changes in the software maker’s business, something Ballmer told The Wall Street Journal he couldn’t do fast enough.

In a revealing interview, Ballmer told WSJ he recognized he was part of the problem at Microsoft when company officials weren’t able to address his new approach as business struggled. Suddenly shifting to a more strategic vision sent the entire chain of command into disarray. Ballmer’s thirteen-year tenure as CEO of Microsoft followed twenty years of involvement since he joined Bill Gates in the company’s development. He is the second-largest shareholder of Microsoft after Gates.

Seeing the extreme level of involvement in the company suggests to investors it’s time to bring in a fresh face with a knack for changing corporate culture against big odds. Those who believe Ford (NYSE:F) CEO Alan Mulally is a perfect fit to succeed Ballmer identify his turnaround at Ford as evidence he is worthy of Microsoft’s top job.