Various tech blogs and a few mainstream news outlets have posted speculative articles about the possibility of Ford Motor Company CEO Allan Mulally being on the short list to replace Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer.
Balmer announced in August that he intends to retire from Microsoft within the next year.
Mulally has gained an impressive reputation as a turnaround CEO. Before joining Ford, Mulally steered Boeing Commercial Airplane Company through rocky waters in the post 9/11 era when orders for new airliners dropped.
In 2006, Mulally was recruited by Bill Ford, Jr. to help turn the beleaguered Dearborn, MI-based automaker back from the brink of bankruptcy. In 2006 the company's losses were mounting. Ford had stopped paying stock dividends. In 2009, Ford lost a record $13 billion.
Under Mulally’s leadership Ford has become profitable. Credit rating agencies recently returned Ford's credit rating to "investment grade." Unlike GM and Chrysler, Ford did not declare bankruptcy or accept federally-guaranteed loans.
Fueling speculation is the fact that Microsoft's headquarters are in Redmond, WA, just east of Seattle. Mulally has roots in Seattle. He served in key management posts at Seattle-based Boeing Airplane Company from 1969 until he left to join Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, MI in 2006. Mulally has family in Seattle and maintains a residence there.
Internet Explorer or Ford Explorer?
According to Ford, Mulally plans to remain at Ford through 2014. But that depends on the meaning of 2014. The federal government considers the start of fiscal year 2014 to be Tuesday, October 1. Hmmm.