Microsoft is expecting to name a new CEO in early 2014, according to John. W. Thompson, a member of the company's board of directors.
Writing to the Technet Blogs, Thompson said Microsoft's board of directors has been focused on finding the best possible person to lead the company, and that after speaking with dozens of individuals, it will likely make its decision very soon.
"After defining our criteria, we initially cast a wide net across a number of different industries and skill sets," Thompson wrote. "We identified over 100 possible candidates, talked with several dozen, and then focused our energy intensely on a group of about 20 individuals, all extremely impressive in their own right.
"As you would expect, as this group has narrowed, we've done deeper research and investigation, including with the full Board. We're moving ahead well, and I expect we'll complete our work in the early part of 2014."
Microsoft's current CEO Steve Ballmer announced in August of 2013 that he would be retiring within the next 12 months. Ballmer will remain as CEO until the company appoints a successor.