Ericsson's Vestberg latest to nix Microsoft CEO rumor

Scratch another candidate supposedly on Microsoft's short list of possible replacements for Steve Ballmer.

Charles Cooper Former Executive Editor / News
Charles Cooper was an executive editor at CNET News. He has covered technology and business for more than 25 years, working at CBSNews.com, the Associated Press, Computer & Software News, Computer Shopper, PC Week, and ZDNet.
Charles Cooper
Chief Executive Hans Vestberg of Swedish wireless equipment company Ericsson AB. Getty Images
This is starting to sound a lot like William Tecumseh Sherman's famous caution when his name got mentioned as a candidate for the presidential election of 1884: "I will not accept if nominated and will not serve if elected."

Earlier today, Bloomberg reported that Ericsson's chief executive officer, Hans Vestberg, informed his company's board of directors that he is not planning to step down to take the top job at Microsoft. Vestberg's name had surfaced in recent weeks as a possible candidate to replace the job that will be left open by Steve Ballmer's pending retirement.

So who does want this job? The only thing the company has said publicly came late last year when the search committe's lead director, John Thompson, indicated that a candidate would be found sometime in the current quarter. Microsoft has been mum; although, there have been rumblings that we may see white smoke sooner, rather than later. But given the absence of news -- the search dates back to last August when Ballmer announced his plans -- this has turned into a prolonged guessing.

Ford CEO Alan Mulally earlier this month officially said he was not interested in going to Microsoft.