Nokia’s Stephen Elop Has Highest Chances to Become Next Microsoft Chief Executive - Bookmakers

Bookmakers See Stephen Elop as Favourite for Next Microsoft Chief Executive

by Anton Shilov
08/29/2013 | 08:43 AM

While nobody exactly knows who might be the next chief executive officer of Microsoft Corp., bookmakers seem to have already formed their short lists. Quite surprisingly, but chief exec of Nokia Corp., who is largely condemned by the analysts for dramatic decrease of Nokia’s market share and profits, is the favourite among other candidates.

 

Ladbrokes, the largest betting company in the UK and the largest retail bookmaker in the world, has published its official odds in the race to run the world’s largest software development. The top three favourites are Stephen Elop (at 5/1), Stephen Turner (6/1) and Steve Sinofsky (8/1), reports Cnet News. All three are either current (like Stephen Turner, who is COO of Microsoft) or former employees of Microsoft.

Microsoft’s next chief executive needs to finalize ongoing transitions, e.g., focus on creating a family of devices, services and programs for individuals and businesses. Jon Peddie, the head of Jon Peddie Research, believes that Microsoft does not necessarily require a new visionary – like Bill Gates – on the role of chief executive officer, but rather needs a business executive who will recognize potentially profitable products and technologies at the early stages of development and will not hold the company back.

Stephen Elop is currently at the helms of a hardware company, but he does have experience of working at the software giant. Theoretically, Mr. Elop could lead Microsoft to develop hardware products that will be competitive on the market, but will fiercely compete against existing customers of Microsoft. Several big caveats that Mr. Elop has is that his current team has not developed a single truly popular product during his tenure at Nokia, just like his Microsoft colleagues he missed the rise of media tablets (and will likely miss the emergence of wearable computing gadgets) and he also picked up the least competitive mobile operating system (Windows Phone) for Nokia.

Microsoft said its current chief executive Steve Ballmer will retire within the next twelve months. The company vows to find the replacement before Mr. Ballmer leaves.