Ford CEO Mulally out as possible Ballmer replacement

Steve Ballmer.

Steve Ballmer.

Ford CEO Alan Mulally says he'll stay at the automaker until the end of 2014, putting him out of contention for the top spot at Microsoft, according to the Associated Press.

Since Microsoft says it will name a successor to CEO Steve Ballmer by August, that means it won't be Mulally, despite his being considered at top contender.

+ Also on Network World: Top 6 Microsoft insider CEO candidates | Perceived missteps may have hit a tipping point for Ballmer +

His streamlining of Ford and his role as a trusted adviser to Ballmer both made him a highly touted candidate.

Mulally had been less definitive in his answers to direct questions about his plans, but said in an interview with the Associated Press that he wanted to end the speculation. He wouldn't say whether he'd talked to Microsoft about the job.

Last month, Microsoft board member John Thompson, heading up the CEO search committee, said the new CEO would be named soon. "We're moving ahead well, and I expect we'll complete our work in the early part of 2014," he said.

Tim Greene covers Microsoft and unified communications for Network World and writes the Mostly Microsoft blog. Reach him at and follow him on Twitter@Tim_Greene.

Read more about software in Network World's Software section.

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