In a comment that should surprise no one, Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer said Tuesday that Nokia's Stephen Elop is a candidate to replace him.
"Stephen will go from external [candidate] to internal," Ballmer told the Seattle Times, though he also said the Microsoft board will evaluate all candidates.
Elop led Microsoft's Microsoft Office division until he left to. There, he hammered out the . Now Elop has stepped back to the role of executive vice president of Nokia's devices and services division, which announced Monday.
The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2014.
Ballmer plans to, once a replacement is found who will carry out the company's new vision of offering devices and services, not just software, he said in August.