For past few months, Microsoft has been searching the next CEO, who will take the place of Steve Ballmer. If everything goes well as planned, the name will be revealed before the BUILD 2014 developer conference, but for now, only rumors are circulating.

A few hours ago, yet another candidate for the role of CEO has been revealed. It’s Hans Vestberg, a Swedish businessman and the current CEO of telecom organization Ericsson. The committee, responsible for finding a replacement of Ballmer, has reduced the list of possible candidates to 20 names, in which there’re three internal candidates.


Hans Vestberg, 48, working for Ericsson since 1998. In these 25 years, he held various management positions in the headquarters of the Swedish company in Brazil, Mexico, China and the United States. He played the role of Chief Financial Officer from 2007 to 2009, when he was appointed Chief Executive Officer. Under his leadership, Ericsson discontinued the joint venture with Sony and abandoned the smartphone market. In April 2013, the company acquired Microsoft Mediaroom IPTV platform.

The other possible replacements for Ballmer are already known. Among external candidates, Stephen Elop, Nokia’s former CEO stands ahead of Alan Mullaly, CEO of Ford whose name has been eliminated as he has to remain at the helm of the Ford until the end of 2014. The internal candidates are the same as last month: Tony Bates, the former CEO of Skype and current Vice President of Business, Satya Nadella, Vice President, Cloud and Enterprise, and Kevin Turner, chief operating officer at Microsoft.

The task assigned to the committee led by Bill Gates isn’t so simple. The next CEO will have to join the league, continuing the new strategy by Ballmer, transforming Microsoft from a software company to “Devices & Services” company. Aside, the candidate must also find the best solution to increase the market share in the mobile industry, taking advantage of Nokia’s hardware division, acquired for $7.2 billion last year. Therefore, it would be difficult to know the name by the end of January, and the official announcement could be made next month.