Microsoft Considers Hiring Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg to Replace Steve Ballmer
In an ongoing effort to find a replacement for the outgoing chief executive Steve Ballmer, Microsoft is now said to be considering the CEO of Swedish telecommunications company Ericsson, Hans Vestberg. Observers are saying that Vestberg may ultimately be a longshot because of Microsoft’s current internet in competing with Apple and Samsung in the consumer electronics space. According to Bloomberg, Vestberg is said to be on the radar of Microsoft’s board of directors.
The recent report reveals his apparent candidacy for the position, portraying him as a “media-savvy technology fanatic,” but noted that his being in the running for Microsoft’s top job would “come as a surprise to many on Wall Street.” Microsoft’s CEO search may have been upended earlier this month when Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally removed himself from consideration. Mulally was said to be Microsoft’s top pick among potential external candidates, a field that is reportedly “thin.”
With all things said and done, Microsoft could also potentially opt to promote from within for its next chief executive. A number of Microsoft’s most high profile executives have exited the company in recent years including Windows chief Steven Sinofsky and Xbox head Don Mattrick. Ballmer abruptly announced his departure last August, pledging to step down from Microsoft within the following 12 months, once his successor has been chosen. According to reports at the time, Ballmer’s exist wasn’t as planned as Microsoft publicly claimed.
Ballmer’s departure period comes after 12 years as chief executive of Microsoft, serving as successor to the company founder, Bill Gates. His tenure was a profitable but rough period for the tech giant, which saw its stronghold in smartphones give way to Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android, while PC sales continue to decline in the face of Apple’s iPad. Critics contend that Microsoft was flat-footed under Ballmer, who was unable to adapt in the face of an evolving marketplace being driven by groundbreaking consumer-oriented devices from rivals such as Apple.
We’ll have to wait and see what happens.