Microsoft has up to 12 months to choose the new CEO who will replace Steve Ballmer, but the online bookies at Ladbrokes, where you can bet on anything from the royal baby to sports games, are already offering odds on who will replace the passionate company head. The list is a veritable who’s who of tech CEO’s and execs, with former Microsoft employee and current Nokia CEO Stephen Elop currently offering 5:1 odds.
Elop is an obvious choice for several reasons. Not only does he have experience at Microsoft, but as the CEO of Nokia, he’s essentially led the hardware side of Windows Phone since 2011. Bringing Elop back to the mothership would help bridge the gap between Microsoft’s mobile OS and the Finnish company’s handsets, streamlining the operation and possibly giving Redmond a shot at catching up to Apple and Google in the smartphone market.
Elop’s a safe bet, but if you’re a fan of the long odds there are some interesting options worth considering. At the bottom of the list is Apple CEO Tim Cook (100:1 odds) who has no reason to jump ship, followed by Bill Gates (50:1), who will help pick the new CEO but is currently focused on humanitarian projects. There’s also Apple design chief Jony Ive (40:1), Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer (33:1), and Netflix CEO Reed Hastings (16:1), all of whom are unlikely to leave their current posts. Meanwhile, filling out the top of the list are a handful of Microsoft execs, including COO Kevin Turner (6:1), Julie Larson-Green (8:1), Qi Lu (10:1), and former Windows chief Steve Sinofsky (8:1).