If Made Microsoft’s CEO, Stephen Elop Might Sell The Xbox Division
Microsoft needs a new CEO, and the list has reportedly been shortened to four or five candidates. Ford CEO Alan Mulally is supposedly the only non-Microsoft employee being considered, and the internal front-runner seems to be former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, who now serves as Vice President of Microsoft’s Devices & Services unit.
According to several sources familiar with the situation, Bloomberg is reporting that Elop would radically shift Microsoft’s overall business strategy in a number of ways, and it might include selling off the Xbox division.
Besides emphasizing Office, Elop would be prepared to sell or shut down major businesses to sharpen the company’s focus, the people said. He would consider ending Microsoft’s costly effort to take on Google with its Bing search engine, and would also consider selling healthy businesses such as the Xbox game console if he determined they weren’t critical to the company’s strategy, the people said.
Earlier this week, investors drove Microsoft shares to their highest price since mid-2000, after Nomura Holdings Inc. analyst Rick Sherlund said the sale of Bing and Xbox, along with other moves, could lift fiscal 2015 earnings by 40 percent.
Sherlund also said that Microsoft is losing money on the Xbox business — as much as $2 billion — but the losses within the Entertainment and Devices Division are masked by royalties paid to Microsoft by Android hardware developers.
Whether the Xbox division is losing money or not, it could be sold off if Elop is bumped to the CEO position. His strategy, according to the Bloomberg report, is to focus on getting Microsoft Office products on as many devices as possible, including Apple and Google products.