Alan Mulally, CEO of Ford Motor Company, stated he won’t be heading to Microsoft and plans to stay with the car maker throughout 2014.
Mulally (pictured) was rumoured to be one of the frontrunners to replace Steve Ballmer, who said in August he plans to retire from the Microsoft CEO post within 12 months.
“I would like to end the Microsoft speculation because I have no other plans to do anything other than serve Ford,” Mulally said in an interview with the Associated Press.
Microsoft was reported to be leaning towards Mulally, who saved Ford from a US government bailout in 2009, making him the kind of turnaround specialist favoured by many Microsoft investors.
However, according to Bloomberg sources, Mulally’s age — he is 68 — and lack of technology experience had seen Microsoft’s interest fade.
Qualcomm’s next CEO, Steve Mollenkopf, was also connected to the Microsoft role before it was announced he would be succeeding Paul Jacobs at the chipmaker.
Other names in the frame include erstwhile Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, former Skype boss Tony Bates, and head of Microsoft’s cloud and enterprise division, Satya Nadella.
The software giant, which is in the process of acquiring Nokia’s handset business, has been losing ground to Apple and Google in the mobile space, as Ballmer focused on devices such as the Surface tablet and Xbox gaming console, and offering software over the internet.
Following the launch of Windows Phone 8 in October 2012, Microsoft has still to prove its viability as a third ecosystem to seriously challenge Android and iOS, although there have been some (limited) positive signs.
In December, John Thompson, a member of Microsoft’s board of directors, wrote in a blog post that Microsoft will complete its work to find a new CEO in “the early part of 2014″.