IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Who could be Microsoft’s next CEO?

We take a look at the 12 people tipped for the top spot at the world’s biggest software company.

John Thompson, board member and search committee leader, Microsoft

A controversial contender, Thompson is in fact in charge of the search for the next CEO. He is also currently CEO of Virtual Instruments and was previously CEO of Symantec, giving him leadership experience that can only be matched by Myerson and Bates.

He has also acted as an advisor to US President Barack Obama.

However, the fact he has no direct management experience within Microsoft could count against him.

Kevin Turner, chief operating officer

Who better to take over as the new CEO than somebody who is already almost top of the tree? He also has experience within Wal-Mart as CIO and president and CEO of the chain's wholesale division, Sam's Club.

Going against him is the fact he has only ever been COO at Microsoft and does not have an engineering background, having spent most of his career as a professional salesman and motivator. 

The bookies' favourite

Stephen Elop, CEO of Nokia

At 5/1 for, Stephen Elop, the Canadian head of Finnish phone manufacturer Nokia, is the bookmakers' favourite to take over from Ballmer. The only other contender coming close is Turner, who comes in at 6/1.

Elop has extensive experience working with and for Microsoft; he was head of Microsoft's business division between January 2008 and September 2010 before taking over as the first ever non-Finnish CEO of Nokia.

The close relationship between Nokia and Microsoft is no secret either, with the two forming a close bond over Windows Phone.

However, the question remains as to whether he would want to leave his current position to head back to his former employer.

Featured Resources

Four strategies for building a hybrid workplace that works

All indications are that the future of work is hybrid, if it's not here already

Free webinar

The digital marketer’s guide to contextual insights and trends

How to use contextual intelligence to uncover new insights and inform strategies

Free Download

Ransomware and Microsoft 365 for business

What you need to know about reducing ransomware risk

Free Download

Building a modern strategy for analytics and machine learning success

Turning into business value

Free Download

Most Popular

Russian hackers declare war on 10 countries after failed Eurovision DDoS attack
hacking

Russian hackers declare war on 10 countries after failed Eurovision DDoS attack

16 May 2022
Windows Server admins say latest Patch Tuesday broke authentication policies
Server & storage

Windows Server admins say latest Patch Tuesday broke authentication policies

12 May 2022
Microsoft to double salary budget to retain workers
Careers & training

Microsoft to double salary budget to retain workers

17 May 2022