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Mulally Not Leaving Ford for Microsoft

CEO staying until at least late 2014.

by on Jan.07, 2014

Ford CEO Alan Mulally at the debut of the 2015 Mustang.

Ford Motor Co. CEO Alan Mulally has broken his silence and quashed rampant rumors suggesting he would leave the suburban Detroit automaker for a job as the next chief executive of software giant Microsoft.

Mulally, a former Boeing executive, has been widely credited with turning around Ford during his seven years in Motown, and it had been suggested that he could lend his organizational skills to Microsoft following the retirement of CEO of Steve Ballmer who last year announced plans to step down no later than August 2014.

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Until now, Mulally had avoided directly commenting on the rumors that he was a primary candidate for the Seattle job, but the Ford board of directors was said to be increasingly concerned about the potential distraction the headlines were creating, both for Mulally and for the automaker itself.

“I would like to end the Microsoft speculation because I have no other plans to do anything other than serve Ford,” Mulally said in an interview with the Associated Press. Asked directly whether this meant he was going to remain at Ford, Mulally added that, “You don’t have to worry about me leaving.”

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Is He or Isn’t He? Ford’s Mulally Sends Mixed Signals About Microsoft CEO Job.

“No change in my plan,” says Mulally – but he also declines to rule out a move.

by on Dec.06, 2013

Ford CEO Alan Mulally at the New York debut of the new 2015 Mustang.

Ford CEO Alan Mulally appears to be sending some very mixed signals when it comes to the ongoing rumors about his candidacy to become the next chief executive officer at Seattle-based Microsoft – but the software giant’s stock slumped when Mulally indicated there will be “no change” to his previously announced plan to stay on with Ford until at least the end of next year.

The former Boeing executive has been the center of rumors swirling around Microsoft’s need to find a successor to Steve Ballmer, the controversial current CEO who has said he plans to depart by next August.  While the Microsoft board of directors has acknowledged only that it is looking at a number of candidates, there have been numerous reports that Mulally is the tech firm’s top choice.

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The timing might almost work.  The 68-year-old Mulally has stepped back in terms of handing day-to-day duties over to Mark Fields, a year ago named Ford’s chief operating officer and considered the front-runner to be the automaker’s next chief executive.  After seven years in Detroit, Mulally has publicly stated he plans to stay with Ford until the end of next year, and in an interview on CNBC, he suggested there has been “no change in my plan.”

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Bill Ford Insists CEO Mulally Will Remain in Detroit

But new reports indicate Microsoft board continues to consider Ford chief exec.

by on Oct.02, 2013

CEO Alan Mulally with Chairman Bill Ford.

Ford Motor Co. Chairman Bill Ford Jr. has stepped into the swirl surrounding reports that the automaker’s CEO Alan Mulally might soon leave for a job with Microsoft.

The 68-year-old Mulally was recruited from Boeing seven years ago and has been widely linked to the search for a new CEO by Microsoft which is also Seattle-based. In fact, despite Ford’s insistence, new reports by the Bloomberg news service indicate the computer giant’s board of directors is still actively considering Mulally as the replacement for CEO Steve Ballmer who announced in August plans to retire within a year.

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Don’t tell that to 56-year-old Ford Chairman Bill Ford, however. Asked about Mullaly’s possible move to Microsoft, he told Bloomberg Television that, “The plan is he’s going to stick around. I’m happy he’s sticking around.” But the Ford family heir quickly added that, “We also feel really good about where we are in terms of succession.”

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Ford After Mulally

Maker will need to fight urge to return to old ways.

by on Sep.30, 2013

Ford CEO Alan Mulally.

For the moment, at least, Ford Motor Co. officials are downplaying reports that CEO Alan Mulally will soon depart for a new job as the top executive at tech giant Microsoft – but even if the 68-year-old Mulally doesn’t head to Seattle his tenure in the Motor City is likely to come to an end relatively soon.

The question is what that will mean for Ford, the only Detroit automaker to avoid bankruptcy – and a subsequent federal bailout. What worries many observers is the possibility the second-largest domestic maker will return to the bad old ways that Mulally set out to change when he came onboard in late 2006.

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“There is no change to what we announced in November,” Ford’s new Chief Operating Officer Mark Fields said when asked about the flurry of reports linking Mulally to Boeing.

Ford’s CEO previously worked in Seattle where he was one of the top executives at aircraft maker Boeing, and he retains strong ties to that community. But were he to return, Mulally might instead step into the shoes of Steve Ballmer, the controversial Microsoft chief who last month said he would step down within the next year, setting off speculation about who might replace him.

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