Ding. Today investors unloaded Microsoft’s stock following indications that current Ford President and CEO Alan Mulally won’t be its next CEO. Ford board member Edsel Ford II stated that “Alan is staying through the end of 2014,” a timeframe that is past the 12-month range that departing Microsoft CEO set to find his replacement.
Investors, irked that Mulally will not therefore head up the software giant, knocked Microsoft down around 3.5 percent, or around $1.43 per share. At the time of writing, using a share count of 8.35 billion (via Google Finance), the decline in Microsoft’s share price, which can be correlated to the news more or less directly, leaves Microsoft worth around $12 billion less than before.
Yesterday, Microsoft closed at $38.94, a level that it had not seen since 2000. Today the company is trading around the $37.50-60 range, still up more than 40 percent on the year.
If Mulally truly is out of the running to be Microsoft’s next CEO, the chance that an outsider will take over the company to lead it forward is now far more remote. Recent indications noted that Mulally was among the top two candidates for the role, standing next to current executive vice president Satya Nadella. Nadella heads Microsoft’s cloud efforts, and is in my estimation a strong potential pick to run the company.
Still, some investors had hoped that Mulally, or perhaps another external candidate, would be selected. The drop in Microsoft’s value, while material, is hardly game changing. To his credit, Mulally has been clear that he intends to stay at Ford for some time.
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