Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s teary retiring CEO, announced he would step down from his position this past August.
Stephen Elop, the former CEO of Nokia and one of the shortlist candidates for Ballmer’s vacated position, is reportedly considering ending Bing and selling off Xbox if he gets the job, shifting focus to MS Office. According to Bloomberg:
“Stephen Elop, a candidate to replace Steve Ballmer as Microsoft Corp.’s chief executive officer, would consider breaking with decades of tradition by focusing the company’s strategy around making the popular Office software programs like Word, Excel and PowerPoint available on a broad variety of smartphones and tablets, including those made by Apple Inc. and Google Inc., said three people with knowledge of his thinking.
He would consider ending Microsoft’s costly effort to take on Google with its Bing search engine, and would also consider selling healthy businesses such as the Xbox game console if he determined they weren’t critical to the company’s strategy.”
Ending Bing would likely upset almost nobody, as it is a limp noodle of a search engine that seems to be bleeding money for Microsoft.
However, the decision to potentially sell Xbox is an interesting one, especially given the fact that Xbox One is set to come out shortly on Nov 22, and Microsoft seems to have put a lot of its eggs in that Xbasket. The only Microsoft ambassador as potent as Bill Gates is Master Chief.
Also, if Elop is planning on focusing on Microsoft Office and selling Xbox, would that mean the Sounders would have to replace their jerseys with that little paper clip guy?