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At Microsoft, Old Guard Sets Future for Next CEO


But the software giant’s $5 billion acquisition of Nokia has made it abundantly clear that this isn’t going to happen. The Nokia deal has not only set the agenda for the company’s future, it has put a familiar Microsoft soldier in the driver’s seat for the CEO post: Stephen Elop, who joined Nokia in 2010 after climbing the Microsoft org chart to become the head of the company’s business division.

Whether Elop gets the job or not, Microsoft’s next CEO will inherit a re-organization recently engineered by Ballmer and his Board of Directors and a major acquisition orchestrated by these same totems of the past — to say nothing of a major social media investment the company is apparently pursuing. All of this indicates that the company’s next leader will be someone who can execute on a strategy set by others, not a revolutionary in the mold of Apple’s Steve Jobs.

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