Nokia's Stephen Elop Favored As Microsoft's Next CEO

Now that Steve Ballmer is retiring as chief of Microsoft, the Redmond software giant is need of a new CEO. The company needs someone who can navigate through mobile waters without sinking below the Surface, and if that person happens to have experience in the mobile arena, all the better. So goes the conventional wisdom in gambling circles that has Nokia's Stephen Elop as the odds on favorite to step into Ballmer's shoes.

Ladbrokes Plc (LAD), a gambling operator in the U.K., lists Elop's odds as 5-to-1. He's ahead of theoretical candidates Kevin Turner and Julie Larson-Green, both insiders, and outsider Tim Cook, a long shot at 100-to-1 since he's sitting comfortably at the helm of Apple.

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Image Source: Flickr (Aaron Toth)

Elop has prior experience with Microsoft that extends beyond Nokia's current relationship and infatuation with the Windows Phone platform. He once served as president of Microsoft's business division and was in charge of Microsoft Office just prior to bailing for Nokia.

At the same time, just because he used to work for Microsoft and is now in charge of a mobile firm, it doesn't mean he'd be a good fit to replace Ballmer. When Elop took over at Nokia, the company was trading at 7.79 euros per share, according to Bloomberg. At the closing bell yesterday, Nokia dropped 1 percent to 2.96 euros in Helsinki. His gamble into Windows Phone territory hasn't paid off, and suffice to say, he hasn't been able to turn Nokia around.