Dec. 12 - Ford's board plans to press CEO Alan Mulally over whether he's staying or going to Microsoft. Fred Katayama reports.
Chatter about whether CEO Alan Mulally is staying put at Ford - or splitting for Microsoft - is getting louder...and Reuters sources say the board wants answers. They meet today. Mulally may or may not be there. But they'll talk about him either way. Mulally has not tried to dispel talk that he's interested in Microsoft - such as when I spoke to him at last week's unveiling of the new Mustang, and that's what has some directors steamed. (SOUNDBITE) FRED KATAYAMA, REUTERS REPORTER (ENGLISH) SPEAKING: "I can't leave without asking you about the Microsoft question: Has the board put out an offer to you to succeed Steve Ballmer?" (SOUNDBITE) ALAN MULALLY, CEO, FORD (ENGLISH) SPEAKING: "I love, love serving Ford, and I have no changes to my plans." In other words - we get that he likes his job- but he doesn't say if he'd love Microsoft even more. All this takes attention away from what Ford is doing. One source close to the board told Reuters, "People don't write about Mustang, they don't write about earnings, they write about Mulally." Mulally is scheduled to stay at Ford through next year. But sources say the board is open to letting him leave earlier than that.