The world waits for Microsoft to reveal the successor to CEO Steve Ballmer. That's when the hard decisions start.
Somebody's got to be up for this job.
Months after Steve Ballmer announced plans to step down as chief executive, Microsoft heads into 2014 still searching for the right candidate. In the last few months of 2013, several names of rumored CEOs-in-waiting got bandied about -- Ford CEO Alan Mulally and Microsoft's VP of its cloud-and-enterprise group, Satya Nadella -- often mentioned as the front-runners. (Mulally has since indicated he plans to remain in Detroit.)
This latest episode in executive handicapping falls under the heading of "those who talk don't know and those who know aren't talking." But this is what we do know: Microsoft plans to make its selection known sometime early in 2014
, and at that point, the close scrutiny begins.