Microsoft Offers Details of CEO Hunt

The chatter about MicrosoftEUs next CEO -- and specifically who that will be -- just wonEUt die down, especially as candidates on RedmondEUs short list are publicly declining the job. Now, John W. Thompson, a member of MicrosoftEUs board of directors, is offering some answers, sort of.

In a blog post, Thompson looked back to Aug. 23. ThatEUs the date Microsoft announced that its current CEO, Steve Ballmer, would be retiring within 12 months and the board of directors was launching a search for a replacement. Microsoft said it would look both internally and externally.

EUSince then, weEUve been focused on finding the best possible person to lead the company,EU said Thompson, who is also chair of the boardEUs search committee. EUAs we approach the end of the calendar year, there has been natural interest in getting an update on where we are in the process.EU

Decision in Early 2014

Thompson stopped short of naming any names, which would likely only throw fuel on the speculation fire. But he did say heEUs pleased with the companyEUs progress toward finding a Ballmer replacement. Thompson called the boardEUs approach thoughtful, and one that the companyEUs shareholders, customers, partners and employees expect and deserve.

EUAfter defining our criteria, we initially cast a wide net across a number of different industries and skill sets. 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,EU Thompson said. EUAs you would expect, as this group has narrowed, weEUve done deeper research and investigation, including with the full board. WeEUre moving ahead well, and I expect weEUll complete our work in the early part of 2014.EU

At the same time, Thompson said, Microsoft has continued to drive hard. He pointed to...

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