Former Nokia boss Elop emerges frontrunner to succedd Steve Ballmer

With Ford CEO Alan Mulally out of the race to succeed Steve Ballmer (See: Alan Mullaly spurns Microsoft; to continue as Ford CEO),  former Nokia CEO, Stephen Elop, is reported to have emerged as the front runner to succeed Steve Ballmer at Microsoft.

Elop, an old Microsoft hand who headed Microsoft's Office business for two years prior in 2010 to lhead the Finnish handset maker, rejoined the software giant in September 2013 as an executive vice president when Microsoft acquired Nokia in a $7.2-billion deal.

Prior to joining Microsoft Elop moved up into senior positions at Adobe, Macromedia, Boston Chicken and Lotus Development Corp.

According to a USA Today report  Tony Bates, former CEO of Skype who joined when Microsoft acquired Skype for $8.5 billion in 2011 as  business development head and Satya Nadella, head of Microsoft's cloud and enterprise businesses, are among other internal contenders for the top job.

The report quoted Daniel Ives, nalyst at FBR Capital Markets, as saying Pivotal CEO Paul Maritz, VMWare CEO Pat Gelsinger and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg,   were the uutside candidates said to be in the running include a.

According to Ivy, with Mullaly having opted out, Elop was best positiopned to lead the Microsoft given his previous experience at Microsoft and also his tenure at Nokia  where he executed job cuts  and brought in organisational changes in a bid to rescue the ailing handstes maker