Qualcomm COO Steve Mollenkopf May Be In Line For Microsoft CEO

By Steve Anderson December 13, 2013

The idea of a new CEO coming in at Microsoft has left a lot of people wondering just who could step in and provide the kind of guidance that the company will need going into a new era in which the PC doesn't enjoy the dominance it once did. While several names have been bounced around previously, one rumor seemed to persist that Microsoft was interested in bringing in someone the company hadn't seen before, at least, not in its internal operations. But word has emerged from Bloomberg that there's a name to go with that general profile, and the name is Steve Mollenkopf.

For those not familiar, Steve Mollenkopf is the chief operations officer at Qualcomm, which in turn focuses on making chips for the mobile device market. There are several reasons behind this pick, according to reports, perhaps most noteworthy is that current CEO Steve Ballmer noted Qualcomm as a company that had done well in terms of taking advantage of mobile computing. Since Ballmer was also at last report invested personally in the selection of his successor, and he was the one who started Microsoft down the mobile device pathway, so it makes sense that Ballmer would want someone heavily involved in successful mobile computing operations. But with recent reports emerging saying that Mollenkopf was named CEO and President at Qualcomm, with an effective date of March 4, 2014 following the 2014 annual shareholders' meeting, this may well scuttle that development outright.

Others had been considered, like Ford's Alan Mulally. Though Mulally would have had plenty to recommend him, reports suggested that Mulally wasn't sufficiently acquainted with tech to run a company like Microsoft. This got something in the way of support when the board at Ford started saying Mulally was going to stay on at Ford, making that point seem largely moot. Names came and went, like former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, VMWare CEO Patrick Gelsinger, and several names from within Microsoft proper.

There are certainly plenty of possibilities out there, but Microsoft will likely want someone with sufficient mobile experience to help shepherd the company into a new mobile business, which it has really only recently begun. But by like token, the company will need someone sufficiently cognizant of other areas of technology to be able to put in input on those, including the still-kicking desktop PC line of products, the various cloud-based developments and the still-growing console gaming market.

Microsoft has its collective fingers in several different pies, and the proper CEO for Microsoft will be able to provide input on all of these. Can Steve Mollenkopf bring that kind of experience and insight to bear on Microsoft' s operations? Will he pass up what reportedly amounts to promotion at Qualcomm to take the shot? Only time will tell if that proves to be the case, or if he'll even get the chance.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

Contributing TechZone360 Writer

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