Ford Chief Alan Mulally Staying Put Through 2014, Likely Out of the Running to Join Microsoft

Considered by some industry analysts to be the front runner to replace Steve Ballmer as Microsoft's next Chief Executive Officer, Alan Mulally, the man in charge of Ford, might now be out of the running. As far as the automobile maker's director Edsel Ford II is concerned, Mulally is staying with his current company at least through the end of 2014, which would carry him beyond the 1-year timeline Microsoft gave itself to find a replacement chief.

"Alan is staying through the end of 2014 and that's all I know," Ford said off to the side during the new Mustang unveiling in Dearborn, Michigan, according to Bloomberg. "Frankly, he has told us that his plan is to stay with Ford through the end of 2014."

Alan Mulally
Image Source: Flickr - Michigan Municipal League (MML)

Case closed, right? Not so fast. Mulally may very well have decided to stay with Ford, and there's no guarantee that Microsoft would choose him over competing candidates like ex-Nokia chief Stephen Elop even if he were open to the idea of replacing Ballmer. However, Mulally has yet to address the press himself and either confirm or deny his plans. If you're a sports fan, you might recall Danny Ainge, GM of the Boston Celtics, saying that Doc Rivers would be the coach going forward this season, right up until Doc left town and headed to L.A. to coach the Clippers. Rivers similarly avoided addressing the matter to the press beforehand.

Mulally has been with Ford with 2006. The 68-year-old CEO has an impressive resume, especially with regards to turning companies around, which is part of what makes him such an attractive candidate to Microsoft's brass. It's also been reported that he and Ballmer are close friends, another point that works in his favor, should he decide to pursue the job.