Skip to main content

Ford's Alan Mulally for Microsoft? CEO mum on move

By Kevin Voigt, CNN
updated 7:10 AM EDT, Mon October 21, 2013
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Alan Mulally: Wouldn't comment on reports he is a top contender as Microsoft CEO
  • Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced in August he would soon retire
  • Mulally, a former top Boeing executive, is credited with turning around Ford

Hong Kong (CNN) -- Alan Mulally has vaulted to the top of the list of potential contenders to replace outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, but the Ford CEO demurred when asked about the speculation Monday.

"I'm very, very happy serving at Ford. We have no plans that are different than that. And also we don't comment on speculation," said Mulally, who was in the city to launch Ford's new LPG-powered Transit Connect to compete in the Hong Kong taxi market.

Since Ballmer announced in August his plans to retire, Mulally's name has risen to the top of a list that also includes former Nokia chief Stephen Elop. Microsoft announced a deal last month to purchase Nokia's mobile phone business.

Mulally was poached from Boeing Inc. in Seattle in 2006 to lead America's second largest car company. He is widely credited with leading a turnaround of the company, which avoided bankruptcy and bailout in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis.

What will Microsoft do with Nokia?
Who will be the next Microsoft CEO?

Ford's Mulally tops Microsoft wish list -- report

Mulally, 68, is expected to remain as Ford CEO until the end of 2014, the company announced last year.

Ford's Hong Kong taxi launch is part of the company's China strategy, a market which the company has seen climb 51% in sales in the first three quarters of this year.

8 reasons Mulally is better for Motown than Microsoft

"China is a tremendous growth region," Mulally told CNN's Patricia Wu. "It's already nearly 20 million units (in total sales) this year -- that's compared to like 16 million in the United States and 13.5 in Europe."

Ford sold nearly 650,000 units in China from January through September, catching up with Japanese competitors Toyota and Honda. The company still lags behind General Motors and Volkswagen, which had sales of 2.85 million and 2.35 million, respectively, in the first three quarters of this year.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 4:01 PM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
The U.S. has promised to supply and train "acceptable" rebels in Syria to counter ISIS. But who are they and are can the strategy work?
updated 8:39 PM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Branded an "extremist" by China's state-run media, Joshua Wong isn't even old enough to drive.
updated 2:55 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi surprised political pundits with his rapid rise to power. CNN meets the man behind the enigma.
updated 7:44 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Liverpool's Italian forward Mario Balotelli reacts during the UEFA Champions League Group B match between Liverpool and Ludogorets Razgrad at the Anfield stadium in Liverpool on September 16, 2014.
British police launched an investigation into abusive tweets sent to Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli.
updated 7:44 PM EDT, Sun September 21, 2014
A woman who was texting her husband before he was killed reflects on the Westgate attack.
updated 6:49 AM EDT, Fri September 19, 2014
British PM David Cameron has had the narrowest of political escapes.
The burial leader. The hospital gatekeeper. The disease detective. All telling powerful, stories from West Africa.
updated 11:54 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
The real secret to a faster commute has been with us all along -- the bus.
updated 9:16 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
13 brands retained their Top 20 status from last year, according to an annual survey.
updated 11:49 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Think your new tattoo is cool? Look at how our ancestors did it and think again.
updated 7:00 AM EDT, Mon September 22, 2014
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT