The latest news coming from Bloomberg News brings forth a new name in to add to the potential Microsoft CEO list: Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg. Vestberg, 48, was born in Hudiksvall, Sweden, began working at Ericsson in 1988, earned a Business Administration degree from Uppsala University in Sweden in 1991, and became CEO in 2010 after serving as the company’s Chief Financial Officer. Ericsson has done well under his leadership, according to Bloomberg:
Under Vestberg, Ericsson shares have risen about 19 percent, while revenues are up from about 206 billion kronor ($32 billion) in 2009 to an estimated 225 billion in 2013, according to analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Bloomberg reports that there are other candidates on the list, but that the board “hasn’t yet reached a decision and who is under consideration is still subject to change”. Previously reported candidates have included Tony Bates, Satya Nadella, and Kevin Turner from inside the company, Stephen Elop, who is technically still an outsider until Microsoft concludes its acquisition of Nokia’s phones businesses sometime early this year, and a number of outsiders, many who have indicated they are not interested in the job, including current Ford CEO Alan Mulally.
Just before Christmas, board member John Thompson posted an updated to the CEO search’s progress on the Official Microsoft blog, saying:
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.
The holidays and CES are over, and the timing is right for news to start bubbling up about a new CEO. We’ve long expected that once the dust settles, Microsoft’s third CEO will be a new face (and to be honest, Hans Vestberg seems to have a lot going for him – young, energetic, experienced at managing change (the divestment of Sony from Ericsson), a new face, etc.). We’re not quite ready to concede that we’ve heard all the names in play, but things should start to get real interesting in the next few weeks. Stay tuned!