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Potential Microsoft CEOs who never were

First published: November 18, 2012, 4:41 PM IST | Updated: November 18, 2012
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Potential Microsoft CEOs who never were
Over the past decade, speculation has centred on some potential candidates, but they have all left the company.

Seattle: Departed Windows boss Steven Sinofsky was the latest in a line of high-flying Microsoft Corp executives tipped to lead the world's largest software company at some point.

Microsoft has never anointed a successor to Steve Ballmer, who took over as CEO from co-founder Bill Gates in 2000 and shows no sign of moving on. Over the past decade, speculation has centred on a number of potential candidates, but they have all left the company.

Steven Sinofsky:
The highly successful but confrontational head of the Windows unit left abruptly this week by "mutual" agreement. He has not announced a new job.

Ray Ozzie: The software guru tapped by Bill Gates to take over his role as Microsoft's big-picture thinker left to start his own project in 2010.

Stephen Elop:
The head of Microsoft's Office unit, its most profitable, took the job of CEO at Finnish phone maker Nokia in 2010.

Kevin Johnson:
Windows and online head went to run Juniper Networks in 2008, largely taking the blame for Microsoft's failed bid to buy Yahoo.

Jeff Raikes:
Veteran sales and marketing leader and head of the Office unit left to join the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as CEO in 2008.

Paul Maritz:
One of the key powers in the early days of Windows left in 2000, eventually becoming CEO of PC virtualisation firm VMware. He recently became chief strategist at EMC.

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