Microsoft Partners Not Crazy About Ford’s Mulally As Next Likely CEO
Ford CEO Alan Mulally, credited with reversing the automaker’s fortunes during his seven years at the helm, has emerged as the leading candidate to replace outgoing Microsoft (NSDQ:MSFT) CEO Steve Ballmer, AllThingsD reported last week.
Microsoft would have a tough time finding a stronger executive than Mulally, whose work at Ford is going to be featured in business school case studies for generations. Ford racked up a $12.6 billion net loss in 2006, the year he joined as CEO. Four years later, it reported $6.6 billion in profit.
But despite all that, several partners told CRN on Monday they don’t believe Mulally is the right choice to lead Microsoft out of its current doldrums.
Andrew Brust, CEO of Microsoft analyst firm Blue Badge Insights, New York, believes Microsoft is facing a different set of challenges than the ones Mulally tackled at Ford, particularly as they relate to culture and strategy.
“Mulally is not from the software technology world, and he’s not young, whereas Microsoft arguably needs someone with both of those qualities,” Brust said in an email.
Given Microsoft’s intense focus on the consumer market, it’s unclear how Mulally’s background would help it compete more effectively with the likes of Google and Apple, partners told CRN.
Greg Frankenfield, CEO of Magenic, a Minneapolis-based Microsoft partner, would like to see Microsoft appoint a CEO with “technical vision and a deep understanding of the consumer marketplace.”
“Microsoft needs to rebuild its culture before it can retool and rebuild its various businesses,” Frankenfield told CRN. “It is increasingly bureaucratic and inward focused, and that change has to come from the top.”
Jeff Middleton, a Microsoft MVP (Most Valued Professional) partner based in Metairie, La., said Microsoft needs to bring in a CEO with the ability to connect with consumers. Read More