CEO Stephen Elop is now even closer to becoming the next chief executive of Microsoft, after the software producer narrowed its external candidate list to approximately five people, according to a report. Ford CEO Alan Mulally and Oracle president Mark Hurd
are said to still be in the running alongside Elop
, with the list severely cut down from the initial 40 names.
Sources of Reuters
claim that the company's internal shortlist of candidates has at least three people on it. Former Skype CEO Tony Bates and head of cloud and enterprise Satya Nadella are thought to be in the running. Other candidates from both lists have not been disclosed, but the committee put in place to find Steve Ballmer's
replacement is apparently looking at executives from the life sciences and consumer sectors, as part of an expanded search.
The process of whittling down all candidates to just one suitor is said to take a few more months, despite the small number of remaining candidates. The search has a built-in deadline, as Ballmer advised
in August that he would step down from his position as CEO within 12 months, which now leaves the company with approximately three quarters of a year left to find and hire someone for the role.