Microsoft to name new CEO this year - Report

Sources tell Bloomberg that Microsoft Corp.'s board of directors is expecting to name Steve Ballmer replacement by the end of the year.

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A new Microsoft Corp. CEO could be announced in the next two months. Bloomberg cites sources saying Microsoft Corp.'s board of directors is aiming to have a successor to outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer in place by the end of the year.

The board is said to be narrowing its choices for executives to replace Ballmer as the company continues to assess candidates through preliminary interviews. The report claims that eBay CEO John Donahoe said he did not want to be considered for the position.

Microsoft has reportedly discussed the position with Ford CEO Alan Mulally, former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop (who will officially join Microsoft when its $7.2 billion buyout closes), as well as former Microsoft executive Paul Maritz and current Microsoft EVP Tony Bates.

The sources said the specific timing of the new CEO announcement is dependent on negotiations surrounding compensation and, for an outside candidate, logistics involving leaving their current company.

Ballmer announced his retirement in August, saying at the time that he would officially step down within a year, but not before his successor was named.

Microsoft's board of directors has established a special committee to direct the selection process for Ballmer's successor. This committee is chaired by the board's lead independent director, John Thompson, as well as chairman of the board Bill Gates, among others.

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