Microsoft Provides Update On CEO Search, Confirms Ballmer Will Leave In 2014

Rumors have a profound effect on proceedings, whether we like them or not. Take the recent reports that the majority of Microsoft employees preferred seeing a new face in the CEO seat as soon as possible, for instance.

While Redmond is still busy searching for a new CEO, it decided to make a public statement, probably in response to reports like this and others before it that suggested a new leader could actually be named before Christmas.

Well, John W. Thompson finally provided some insights into how the search is coming along.

Member of Microsoft’s board, and part of the special committee tasked with finding a replacement for Steve Ballmer, the outgoing CEO, he said that the company identified over 100 possible candidates. In other words, the software titan wants to take its time, and the search process could take a little longer:

“We identified over 100 possible candidates, talked with several dozen, and then focused our energy intensely on a group of about 20 individuals, all extremely impressive in their own right.

As you would expect, as this group has narrowed, we’ve done deeper research and investigation, including with the full Board. We’re moving ahead well, and I expect we’ll complete our work in the early part of 2014.”

Sane decision — it is clear that this is perhaps the most important position in technology right now, and the company should take all the time needed to land the best possible person.

By the same token, Ballmer’s strong involvement in Microsoft’s current and future business endeavors also makes sense, as he just may be at the helm for a few more months.

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