Stephen Elop is seemingly pondering some rather huge changes if he becomes Microsoft CEO in the future.
Previously CEO at Nokia, Elop is said to be considering realigning Microsoft’s focus with making Office software available to a wider range of devices, including Apple and Google.
According to “three people with knowledge of his thinking”, Elop is prepared to shut down Microsoft’s major business divisions to tighten the company’s focus. This may well include a plan to sell off the Xbox division and kill the Bing search engine.
Analysts have already suggested the sale of Xbox and Bing, among other moves, could lift Microsoft’s earnings in fiscal year 2015 by 40 per cent.
“Microsoft is trying to do too much, and these assets add no clear value to the overall business,” said Nomura Holdings analyst Rick Sherlund.
Elop will be joining Microsoft as the head of a new Microsoft devices unit responsible for hardware such as the Surface Pro 2 and Xbox One, after resigning as Nokia CEO after its sale to Microsoft for $7.2billion in September.
“Two of the people with knowledge of his thinking” say Elop assumes Microsoft could make more money maximising Office sales rather than using it to propel Windows device sales, especially as Gartner predicts PC shipments will fall 11 per cent in 2013.
Microsoft currently has several CEO candidates on their list, after it was announced in August current CEO Steve Ballmer would be retiring within a year.
Elop and Ford Motor Company CEO Alan Mulally are both among the external candidates, whilst internally strategy chief Tony Bates, enterprise software chief Satya Nadella and COO Kevin Turner are also being considered according to reports.
The Xbox One release date has been scheduled for November 22 in 13 worldwide markets.
Next, read our Xbox One vs PS4 comparison.