Microsoft has already picked its next CEO, claims report

Kevin Turner, the current chief operating officer, will take over as chief executive, says Chinese blog site WPDang.

Lance Whitney Contributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Lance Whitney
2 min read
Will current Microsoft COO Kevin Turner be the next CEO?
Will current Microsoft COO Kevin Turner be the next CEO? Microsoft video screenshot

Has Microsoft already chosen its next heir -- or heirs -- to the CEO throne? One Web site says yes.

Citing information from unnamed sources, Chinese blog site WPDang said Thursday that current Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner will be tapped to succeed Steve Ballmer as the software giant's next CEO. But wait, there's more.

Two to three years later, Turner will then be replaced by former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop.

Both Turner and Elop have been high on the list of rumored candidates to assume the CEO mantle. A recent story from Reuters said that Microsoft's board has narrowed the list to Elop, Ford CEO Alan Mulally, Microsoft Executive VP Tony Bates, and Microsoft cloud and enterprise chief Satya Nadella. Turner was not mentioned by name specifically, though Reuters' source said there was at least one other internal candidate.

In September, Ballmer said that Elop was a candidate to replace him.

The story from WPDang triggers at least one question. Would Microsoft take on Turner as CEO, only to replace him with Elop a few short years down the road? At this point, the company needs a CEO who can provide it with a long-term vision and direction. However, hiring Turner for a few years could also provide the type of transition needed for Elop to take over permanently.

Without knowing who passed this tidbit along to WPDang, the story should definitely be filed in the rumor category. But with the list of candidates reportedly being whittled down, we should find out before too long who will be the next person to steer Microsoft.

(Via Windows Phone Central)