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Report: Microsoft shaves CEO shortlist to Ford, Nokia, Skype and Azure heads

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Microsoft's list of external candidates for the Chief Executive position has been narrowed down to five people, which includes Ford Motor Co head Alan Mulally and former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, according to a report from Reuters.

According to Reuters' sources, the corporation has narrowed down its internal candidates to "at least three," which includes former Skype CEO and Microsoft's business development head Tony Bates and Microsoft's cloud and enterprise chief Satya Nadella.

Reuters reports that the company started with "about 40 names" for the position and that it won't come to a final decision for "a few more months." Microsoft's committee charged with selecting a CEO is interviewing executives from a broad range of sectors such as life sciences and consumer. The names of the remaining candidates on the list were not known.

According a Bloomberg report last month, Microsoft expected to have a successor to CEO Steve Ballmer by the end of the year. Bloomberg's sources also mentioned that Mulally, Elop and Bates were being considered for the role. Ballmer announced his plans to retire from Microsoft earlier in the year after more than 30 years of service with the company.