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Microsoft to name new CEO in early 2014

Board member says progress being made, field has been narrowed to fewer than 20 candidates

Microsoft may have up to eight months left with Steve Ballmer at the helm, but it's going to be announcing its next CEO much sooner than that. In a post on the official Microsoft blog today, one of the company's board of directors, John W. Thompson, offered an update on the search for Ballmer's successor.

"After defining our criteria, we initially cast a wide net across a number of different industries and skill sets," Thompson said. "We identified over 100 possible candidates, talked with several dozen, and then focused our energy intensely on a group of about 20 individuals, all extremely impressive in their own right. As you would expect, as this group has narrowed, we've done deeper research and investigation, including with the full Board. We're moving ahead well, and I expect we'll complete our work in the early part of 2014."

Ballmer announced his plan to retire in August, just months after Forbes named him "the worst CEO of a large publicly traded American company today." Last month, Reuters reported that the field of CEO candidates had been narrowed to four: former Skype CTO Tony Bates, Microsoft's Satya Nadella, Nokia's Stephen Elop, and Ford's Alan Mulally.

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Brendan Sinclair avatar
Brendan Sinclair: Brendan joined in 2012. Based in Toronto, Ontario, he was previously senior news editor at GameSpot.
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