Report: Microsoft is having a hard time finding a CEO because of former execs staying on the board

Posted Jan 5, 2014

Microsoft is supposed to find a new CEO in early 2014. The recruitment is behind schedule though. Microsoft wanted to have a CEO decided by November or December, according to The Wall Street Journal. The WSJ is reporting that the job is not appealing because Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer is still going to be on the board of directors when the successor is decided.

“At least some external executives who discussed the CEO job with Microsoft directors have expressed concerns about being hamstrung if the two men continue to serve on the board, according to people familiar with their thinking,” said the WSJ. The potential successors are especially concerned about Ballmer remaining on the board because some of his recent decisions to alter the company’s strategy caused controversy amongst managers and investors.

After Ballmer reorganized the company, many talented engineers left Microsoft. Either the new CEO has to stick with Ballmer’s reorganization, which was approved by the board, otherwise revamp the plan completely. The new CEO would also have to spend a lot of time integrating Nokia within the company. Microsoft acquired Nokia for $7.2 billion.

Bill Gates is pretty vocal about the direction that Microsoft should be taking. However, he was not the head of the company as Google and Apple grew into mobile and search power-houses. The new CEO would have to be focused while respecting suggestions from Bill Gates.