Ericsson CEO named as possible Ballmer successor

Hans Vestburg is being considered for the top job at Microsoft, according to people close to the matter

The hunt for the new CEO of Microsoft is drawing to a close, but today a new hat was thrown into the ring in the shape of Ericsson’s leader, Hans Vestburg.

The executive has been running the Swedish telecoms firm since 2010 after a two-year stint as CFO but, according to Bloomberg,, he was now being considered for the top job at Microsoft.

The current CEO, Steve Ballmer, revealed last August he would be stepping down within a year, meaning Microsoft still has another six months left to appoint someone. However, John Thompson, a member of Microsoft’s board, promised in December the successor would be named in the early part of 2014 after narrowing it down from over 100 possible candidates.

Other names touted as possibilities included former Nokia boss and Microsoft veteran Stephen Elop, the company’s existing chief operating officer, Kevin Turner, and even Ford boss Alan Mulally, although he last week pledged his dedication to the car manufacturer.  

We contacted Microsoft and Ericsson for a reaction to the rumours but spokespeople from both firms said they did not comment on rumour or speculation.

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