Microsoft narrows CEO search to fewer than 20 candidates

18 Dec 2013

Microsoft expects to hire a new CEO to replace Steve Ballmer in early 2014, having whittled 100 possible candidates to fewer than 20, the chair of the board’s search committee has revealed in an update on the CEO search.

In August, Ballmer announced he would retire within the next 12 months, and Microsoft’s board of directors has been seeking his replacement both internally and externally.

“I’m pleased with our progress,” John W Thompson wrote in a post on The Official Microsoft Blog.

“After defining our criteria, we initially cast a wide net across a number of different industries and skill sets. We identified over 100 possible candidates, talked with several dozen, and then focused our energy intensely on a group of about 20 individuals, all extremely impressive in their own right.”

Thompson added that the group of 20 has narrowed, and the board of directors has conducted deeper research and investigation into those candidates.

“We’re moving ahead well, and I expect we’ll complete our work in the early part of 2014,” Thompson wrote.

Microsoft has had only two CEOs in its 38-year history – Ballmer, and Bill Gates, who is now chairman of the company.

“As a board, we are determined and confident that the company’s third CEO will lead Microsoft to renewed and continued success. We’re looking forward to 2014 and the opportunities and decisions that lie ahead,” Thompson wrote.

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic