Another day, another update on the long-running Microsoft CEO search, which has become what can charitably be called a soap opera, albeit one that is, hopefully, winding down. The drama, which kicked off in August when CEO Steve Ballmer said he would step down within a year has been characterized by a series of what seem to be carefully placed leaks — some apparently from the Ballmer camp (Ford CEO Alan Mulally had to be Ballmer’s pick as successor) and insider Satya Nadella, (who seems to be Bill Gates’ guy.)
On Friday, the Wall Street Journal, (registration required) reported that the board’s search committee, headed by director John Thompson, has recommended Nadella as CEO. Nadella told the committee he would need Gates to play a bigger role to help him “be successful” as CEO, according to an unnamed source.
The storyline appears to be that Nadella, a 22-year Microsoft veteran, is the guy, although one report last week raised Google Senior Vice President Sundar Pichai as a surprise outsider candidate. Company insiders and former Microsoft executives discounted the notion, raised last week, that Gates will step down from the board or that the board could force that move.
Whoever gets the nod...