Reuters is reporting that at least three of Microsoft’s top investors are pushing the company to replace current CEO Steve Ballmer with a chief executive experienced in turning around struggling companies. A source close to the matter told the newswire that Ford CEO Alan Mulally and Computer Sciences Corp CEO Mike Lawrie are both being pushed to the top of the list.
Microsoft reportedly declined to commented on the rumor, while Lawrie and Mulally could not be reached. However, the Ford chief executive told Reuters just last week that he was committed to his current job and “absolutely focused on serving Ford.” A company spokesperson also noted that Mulally plans to stay in his current position “at least through 2014,” while Ballmer is set to step down within the next 12 months. Computer Sciences declined to comment on the rumors.
The news flies in the face of recent predictions for Ballmer’s successor, which focused on current or ex-Microsoft executives. Many industry analysts have assumed that Stephen Elop, who left Microsoft to serve as CEO of Nokia, will take over the joint operation once Redmond’s buyout of the Finnish company’s mobile division is complete. Other popular predictions include current Microsoft’s Chief Operations Officer Kevin Turner and former Windows chief Steve Sinofsky.