The search for a successor to departing Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer is heating up. Balmer has been at the company’s helm since 2000. He has been chief executive officer of Microsoft for over a decade and led them through the global financial crisis of 2008. Finding a successor for him won’t be easy. The boards of directors at Microsoft have many prospects and options for a new CEO at Microsoft. It will also perhaps be one of the most important and challenging decisions the current board of directors at Microsoft faces right now.
The board of directors at Microsoft has three major options when it comes to selecting a new chief executive officer to run the company. The first option that the board has it to select a CEO candidate that is located “within the company.” What this means is that Microsoft can opt to go with a homegrown CEO that has been with the company for a long period of time. Microsoft has plenty of skilled managers that have been with the company for a long time and that have developed and grown tremendously while working at Microsoft. It should be noted that most fortune 100 companies currently have homegrown CEOs. Most homegrown CEOs are likely to continue on the path that the company is on, and this is one of the things that the board will have to consider. If they want to continue on the track the company has been on for the last 15 years than a homegrown CEO might be a perfect choice for Microsoft.
The second option that the world’s largest software development company has is to go after an outside executive who is well versed in technology and who has a long history of success in managing a tech firm. The candidate must also be of sufficient age to run a large multinational company such as Microsoft, as there are plenty of young executive and CEO’s in the tech field right now. Age plays a role for a company like Microsoft. If Microsoft goes with this option, the new CEO should be able to run the company for another 10-15 years and bring innovation and fresh changes to the company which could spur growth and development.
The last option that the board of directors at Microsoft has is to try and recruit a CEO at a major company to come to Microsoft and lead the company for a few years. This option has the advantage in that there are plenty of CEOs who would gladly take up a post at Microsoft. It also has an advantage in that it would allow Microsoft to develop its own homegrown talent for promotion to CEO one day. The downside is that a current CEO may be less open to change and do things his way instead of what is best for the company.
Whatever option the board at Microsoft chooses to go with, no doubt it will still be difficult and time consuming to select an ideal candidate to run the company for the future. The board is composed of several past CEOs and executives who have been in the shoes of who they are trying to recruit right now, and this should be a major advantage in the search that Microsoft is currently undertaking.