Microsoft board considering Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg to replace Ballmer

“Microsoft Corp.’s board is considering Ericsson AB Chief Executive Officer Hans Vestberg as a potential successor to departing leader Steve Ballmer, according to people briefed on the search,” Dina Bass, Jonathan Erlichman, Beth Jinks and Peter Burrows report for Bloomberg. “Vestberg, 48, is in the running alongside other candidates, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the process is private. Microsoft cloud-computing chief Satya Nadella and former Nokia Oyj CEO Stephen Elop, as well as other outsiders, are also on the list, people familiar with the search have said. The board hasn’t yet reached a decision and who is under consideration is still subject to change.”

“The search has been dogged with difficulty. Any new CEO will have to turn around Microsoft, whose main software business is struggling. At the same time, the Redmond, Washington-based company has made limited headway in fast-growing markets such as smartphones and tablets,” Bass, Erlichman, Jinks and Burrows report. “Ballmer and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, who together hold about 8 percent of the stock, are also on the board. Their presence has deterred some candidates, raising concern that a new CEO might lack independence in the role, said people familiar with some of the candidates’ thinking.”

“Vestberg joined Ericsson in 1988 and served as the company’s chief financial officer from 2007 to 2009 before becoming CEO in January 2010. He has held management positions at Ericsson in China, Brazil, Mexico and the U.S., the company said on its website,” Bass, Erlichman, Jinks and Burrows report. “Since becoming CEO, Vestberg has overseen the dismantling of the Sony Ericsson handset joint venture…”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Dismantling overseer. Sounds like the perfect guy to write what’s left of the Microsoft story.


  1. What would be the funniest coincidence would be sending a Canadian, Stephen Elop, working for an American company, Microsoft, to press the destruct button on a Scandinavian company in Finland, Nokia, and then hiring a Scandinavian from Sweden to oversee the destruction of an American company, Microsoft.

    The Canadian should have stayed home to supervise the destruction of BB, and likewise the Scandinavian supervise the fall of Nokia, but fate deals a strange hand sometimes.

    1. The fact that this search has now gone on for 6 months is an appalling indictment of Microtanic. The BS regarding the succession plan when Jobs was ill exemplifies the double standard in the tech and financial press when it comes to Apple. I can’t imagination the foaming at the mouth if this had happened in 2011.

  2. So, ‘Microsoft Corp.’s board is considering Ericsson AB Chief Executive Officer Hans Vestberg’, huh?

    Talk about ‘Blind leading the blind’.

    Should be a perfect fit with MS.

  3. I think if they hire him and he has any good ideas, they’ll be met with resistance at some or all levels. I think MS is so fragmented and has been leaderless for so long, that they don’t know how to really get behind a leader.
    Provided they hire a leader.

    1. What Microsoft needs is someone with the courage and audacity to say (in press conferences) how screwed up the previous (existing) Microsoft regime has been for the last 10 years. The Microsoft Store is an embarrassing copycat money sink hole. The Windows 8 kludge intentionally insults and alienates our most loyal customers, and directly resulted in the ongoing PC sales malaise (except in the “robust” Mac segment). Surface, as the showcase for Windows 8, and the purchase of Nokia, as the showcase for Windows Phone, intentionally compete with our business partners.

      But it’s obvious, with Ballmer and Gates on the Board that chooses the next CEO, that the final choice will be a “puppet.” Here’s Microsoft’s chance for a Cmd-Alt-Del, like Steve Jobs rebooting Apple. In Microsoft’s case, they need to do a clean install of their corporate operating system. What they will no doubt do instead is install Ballmer 2.0.

  4. In my experience, having twice worked for companies where the CFO became the CEO, it is the death knell whenever this happens. Putting a bean counter in charge insures that there will be no innovation, no fresh thinking, and nothing but cut, trim, and squeeze style management. He’s the perfect puppet CEO who will not rock the boat as it continues to be driven by Gates and Ballmer. 5 years from now people will be remembering when there was a Microsoft Corp.

    1. Exactly, the type of successful and radical CEO thinking that might lead Microsoft out of the wilderness would be an anathema to their way of thinking with Skipper Steve and Billigan on the Board. So there’s no chance of turning the tide.

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