Ford's Board of Directors to Press Alan Mulally on Future Plans and Microsoft Job

Microsoft still has up to eight more months to find a replacement for Steve Ballmer, the outgoing CEO who announced near the end of August plans to retire within the next 12 months, essentially giving himself and Microsoft's board of directors a deadline to hire someone new. Less than four months into the search, one name that keeps coming up is Ford chief Alan Mulally, and that has Ford's board feeling a little anxious.

The board's biggest concern is that Mulally has done nothing to take his name out of contention. If he didn't have interest in the Microsoft job and/or was committed to staying with a Ford, a simple statement to the press would make all the speculation go away, but he hasn't done that. Some board members are getting a little peeved that all of the attention at Ford is falling on whether or not Mulally will stick around.

"It's drowning out the rest of the story," a source told Reuters. "People don't write about Mustang, they don't write about earnings, they write about Mulally."


All the attention on Mulally has become a distraction to the point where some on the board want to extract a definitive answer from him -- does he or does he not plan to stay with the company through the end of 2014?

That's the million dollar question. Just last week, the automobile maker's director Edsel Ford said plainly, "Alan is staying through the end of 2014 and that's all I know. Frankly, he has told us that his plan is to stay with Ford through the end of 2014."

Until he tells the same thing to Microsoft, he'll continue to be a candidate for the job opening, and a favored one at that.