Jan. 8 - Now that Alan Mulally won't lead Microsoft, sources say it will consider key insiders. But analysts think a ''dark horse'' outsider is possible. Fred Katayama reports.
TV AND WEB RESTRICTIONS~****~ Now that Ford CEO Alan Mulally is out of the running for the top slot at Microsoft, sources say Mister Softy is down to a "handful" of candidates. Two are insiders: executive vice president Tony Bates, and cloud division chief Satya Nadella. The other is former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop who used to work at Microsoft. But investors looking for a big overhaul may be disappointed if an internal executive replaces Steve Ballmer. Influential Nomura analyst Rick Sherlund says Bates and Nadella are "good candidates, but .... more likely to take direction from Microsoft's board rather than redirect the board and take the company in a direction as we prefer." He believes Microsoft's board may have approached a "dark horse" with more technical experience than Mulally. Investors had begun factoring in the possibility that Mulally won't be the one, but nevertheless, Microsoft stock fell at the start of trade while Ford shares rose sharply.