Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has a close-knit relationship with Ford Motor Company CEO Alan Mulally. It is also rumored that Mulally has been placed on the short-list as a replacement for Steve Ballmer. Mulally has also influenced his management style at Microsoft and helped Ballmer come up with the idea for “One Microsoft.”
Mulally employed a similar management technique at Ford under the “One Ford” campaign. Ballmer was hoping that the reorganization that happened last summer would make the company more united rather than each division being placed in silos.
Microsoft’s human resources also recently shut-down the companies stack-ranking system. Mulally apparently helped Ballmer plan “One Microsoft” at a Starbucks in Seattle on Christmas Eve.
Ballmer brought a messenger bag full of phones and tablets from Microsoft and their competitors. He asked Mulally how he turned around Ford at the meeting. Mulally talked about the change in teamwork and simplifying the Ford brand so that it can be repositioned.
While working at Ford, Mulally refocused the company on their core middle-class brands and got rid of attempts to make a play in luxury brands like Jaguar and Land Rover. Mulally was responsible for avoiding the government bailout during the 2008 economic crisis.