The news, originally reported by Bloomberg, comes along with a list of potential candidates up for the job.
Microsoft has reportedly already spoken with Ford Motor Company CEO Alan Mulally, former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, former Microsoft executive and current CEO of Pivotal Paul Maritz, and Microsoft business development and evangelism chief Tony Bates.
The board has also asked former Cisco Systems executive Charles Giancarlo, now the managing director of the private-equity firm Silver Lake.
But one potential candidate, EBay CEO John Donahoe, has declined to be considered by Microsoft for its chief executive position.
Several factors will go into when a new CEO, including negotiations over compensation and leavings his or her former company, if Microsoft should go with an external candidate.
At the same time as hiring or installing a new CEO, Microsoft will also be launching its next-gen console, the Xbox One, on Nov. 22 in the United States and a dozen other markets worldwide.