It’s one of the biggest and most important roles in the entire business world, but it’s currently vacant following the departure of Steve Ballmer. The job of CEO for tech giant Microsoft is up for grabs, and a number of the biggest names in the industry, as well as some surprise outsiders are among those fancied to take on the task of rebooting the company’s fortunes.
Ballmer left his post after experiencing mixed results during his tenure. Although Microsoft remain the kings when it comes to operating systems for PCs and laptops, they have yet to make inroads in the mobile and tablet markets, while Bing, their search engine, lags far behind market leader Google. Keeping up with the likes of Google and Apple will be top priority for the incumbent.
Leading the way
The favourite for the post is currently Stephen Elop, whose odds with Ladbrokes are now as short as 1/4 for one of the most highly-prized roles in the entire business world. Elop, the current CEO of the Finnish mobile phone manufacturers Nokia, was initially priced at 5/1 to replace Ballmer permanently.
About Elop’s chances of becoming Microsoft’s new CEO, Jessica Bridge of Ladbrokes said: “It’s been one-way traffic for Elop in the last week, he’s all the rage with punters and they’re backing him at all prices.”
Elop’s chances have been boosted by Microsoft’s recent takeover of Nokia, which could help to give them a better platform from which to gain more market share in the smartphone sector. As for the contenders, their chances of following in the footsteps of Ballmer and founder Bill Gates appear to have diminished.
Sandberg a distant second
Chief Operating Officer of Facebook Sheryl Sandberg was expected to be among the main contenders for the title, and although she’s the second favourite, her odds have drifted to 7/1. Sandberg looks like having to stay put for the time being.
Further back are Steve Sinofsky, the head of the highly successful Windows Division of Microsoft at 12/1, Kevin Turner, Microsoft’s COO at 16/1 and KirilTatarinov, another Microsoft high-flyer at the same price. Promotion from within is unlikely for the post.