Microsoft considers Ericsson CEO to replace Ballmer

Microsoft considers Ericsson CEO to replace Ballmer

Microsoft is considering Hans Vestberg, CEO at Swedish vendor Ericsson, for the top job at the US firm, Bloomberg reported yesterday.

Microsoft’s CEO Steve Ballmer announced his resignation in August last year and sources have told reporters that Vestberg’s name is included on a list of potential candidates, alongside Microsoft cloud-computing chief Satya Nadella and former CEO of Nokia’s Finnish arm, Stephen Elop.

John Thompson, independent director at Microsoft and head of the search, said in a blog post in December last year that the CEO applicant would require “an ability to lead a highly technical organisation and work with top technical talent”.

Vestberg heads up one of the world’s largest and most successful telecoms equipment makers, and in September last year Ericsson completed the acquisition of Microsoft’s Mediaroom.

It is unknown whether Microsoft has reached out to Vestberg and, according to Reuters, his name may come as a surprise to Wall Street.

Despite plans to appoint a successor by the end of 2013, Microsoft is still searching for the right candidate and Thomson said the company expects to fill the role in the “early part of 2014”.