The search for the next Microsoft  CEO continues. The Wall Street Journal reports that Microsoft has considered at least eight external candidates, including well-known execs such as Mark Hurd and Alan Mulally. Following his ouster at Hewlett-Packard  several years ago, Hurd was quickly snapped up by Oracle, adding to his considerable experience at various tech titans. Hurd had a vision for mobile devices that he never got to follow through on, as it was his decision for Hewlett-Packard to acquire Palm. The deal probably would have still ended badly, but investors will never know what could have been.

Mulally's name continues to pop up in the headlines, and Steve Ballmer is reportedly backing him to the board. Mulally has said he intends to stay at Ford through the end of next year, but that hasn't stopped investors from speculating on whether he'll become Microsoft's CEO. Mulally lacks experience in the tech sector, but he has an incredible track record with unifying Ford's internal culture -- something Microsoft desperately needs.

Microsoft's board must choose between a tech-industry veteran or a tech outsider capable of running an organization as large as Microsoft, and it won't be an easy decision.


In this segment of Tech Teardown, Erin Kennedy discusses the search for Microsoft's next CEO with Evan Niu, CFA.

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The article Who Will Replace Steve Ballmer? originally appeared on Fool.com.

Erin Kennedy and Evan Niu, CFA, both have no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Ford and owns shares of Ford, Microsoft, and Oracle.. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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