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Microsoft CEO hunt: Nokia boss Elop would consider selling off Xbox business – rumour

Friday, 8th November 2013 12:08 GMT By Dave Cook

Microsoft’s hunt for Steve Ballmer’s CEO position is still up for grabs, but sources close to the matter have apparently said that former Nokia boss Stephen Elop is formulating his plans ahead of joining the company. Whether or not he’ll get the CEO position remains to be seen however.

It follows word that Microsoft’s CEO hunt was narrowed to these four candidates, including Elop.

The report comes from Bloomberg, which cites three sources as saying Elop is poised to bring about big changes within Microsoft. The first being the availability of Microsoft Office programs on competing smartphone and tablet devices, including those created by Apple.

Elop is said to be mulling over new changes within the company as he gears up to take an internal role, following the $7.2 billion sale of Nokia to Microsoft in September. It is still unclear if he will be offered the CEO position.

The same sources have suggested that Elop is willing to sell or close significant areas of Microsoft’s business in a bid to improve its focus. Notable and potential casualties could be its Bing search engine, and the Xbox business – should it become non-critical to the business strategy moving forward.

It follows Elop’s 40,000 job cut while at Nokia, which successfully reduced its operating expenses by 50 percent. It shows he’s not afraid to streamline in the name of profitability.

What do you think of the above? Could you see Elop making big cuts at Microsoft if he gets the CEO position? Let us know below.

Via MCV.

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18 Comments

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  1. VibraniumSpork

    “XBox, find me a new job” voice command coming soon to a Kinect-enabled device near you.

    #1 9 months ago
  2. Beta

    I’m completely uneducated in this matter, but I thought Xbox was one of the things going well for them.

    Why sell it?..

    #2 9 months ago
  3. Dragon

    OOOOOOOoooooooooo…….

    It may happen, since MS investors aren’t really happy with Xbox division. And this-
    http://www.businessinsider.in/Microsoft-Is-Making-An-Astonishing-2-Billion-Per-Year-From-Android-Patent-Royalties/articleshow/25335740.cms

    Unlike Sony right now,(Ninty is only games) MS doesn’t report Xbox numbers as a separate division, and this thing almost always is bad news. Sony buried humongous PS3 losses by doing same thing too. Many big companies bury their bad sectors from investors scrutiny by lumping them with profitable ones. Its an old trick.

    Whether it will happen though, is something that is just a rumour.

    #3 9 months ago
  4. Dave Cook

    @2 no-one’s saying they will sell it.

    If it becomes ‘non-critical’ then yes it’d be up for consideration, but for now it’s fine.

    #4 9 months ago
  5. Beta

    @4 I understand now, cheers for the clarification :)

    In my defence I’ve literally just woken up :P

    #5 9 months ago
  6. fengato

    edit : oops – Dragon beat me to it.

    If they’re losing money now (whilst doing well and having XBL revenue), I fail to see how they’re going to become profitable with it in the future. Bit scary – hope our console makers can hang with us for the longer term.

    #6 9 months ago
  7. Dave Cook

    @5 no probs :) Coffee is our friend. I’m the same in the mornings.

    #7 9 months ago
  8. Christopher Jack

    Don’t they usually lose money while investing in a new product launch? It doesn’t help that the xbox is being judged by how well the Devices and Studios Group is doing, just look at the pathetic Surface sales.

    #8 9 months ago
  9. Erthazus

    Surface maybe a failure compared to Xbox but it is in Microsoft DNA. Microsoft is always looking for the PC future and they need focus.
    and Xbox does not help it at all. Besides it loses a lot of money all the time and look at Sony, they don’t make a profit either with these machines anymore.

    Only big publishers make profit such as Activision blizzard, Take Two, Konami, Ubisoft, Valve… Because they have certain hits or smart business practices.

    #9 9 months ago
  10. DSB

    I don’t see how that would be a bad thing.

    Big difference between killing and selling, and Microsoft never truly gave a shit about games. All they ever did was ruin games and kill studios.

    I get the sense that their Xbox division is like the peons of the operation, the lower class, so putting them under a leadership that actually gave a fuck would be a massive improvement.

    The only negative I see is that Microsoft has more money than god, so they can afford to go crazy on their R&D, but I’m pretty someone has the same competence and investment out there.

    #10 9 months ago
  11. TrickyAudio

    Elop is from the mobile industry. I could quite easily see him sacrificing the Xbox brand for a bigger push on Phone/Tablets to keep up with Apple and Google, especially if he’s in charge and Xbox One doesn’t meet expectations.

    They can always keep a stake in some form or other, or even licence out IP’s or brands to others to make. They are a Software company, after all.

    Interesting to see what happens in the future.

    #11 9 months ago
  12. Dragon

    @DSB,
    Over $80billion in cash reserves or equivalents, nuff said.

    #12 9 months ago
  13. NiceFellow

    If the XB1 one doesn’t do well as a single media devices fairly quickly, and if PS4 does open strong worldwide as predicted, then I could see this pretty easily.

    MS did some good stuff in gaming market but I doubt they will remain if they don’t finally see themselves getting someone as that single device in living room they’ve been chasing.

    Personally the initial reaction to the XB1 plus the divergence of access to media vs convergence makes me feel the chances of XB1 achieving what MS want are small and the likelihood a new CEO will be taking a long, hard look as to why MS is commissioning content and games vs gaining market-share in mobile OS.

    #13 9 months ago
  14. DarkElfa

    Google should buy it.

    #14 9 months ago
  15. DSB

    @14 Oh… Ding ding ding. Of course.

    Google or Apple would actually be the obvious candidates. I can’t believe I didn’t think of them first.

    I think Apple are feeling forced into games more than anything else. Jobs kinda took pride in loathing games, but Google is more of a playful place. Apple would probably be more inclined to make their own if it came to that.

    I was like “Maybe AMD… But then they barely know how to make their drivers work”. Probably couldn’t afford it these days anyway.

    #15 9 months ago
  16. debug

    Well Dave, that title was total bait, when you then come in the comments saying “no-one’s saying they will sell it.” Haha :p

    #16 9 months ago
  17. Legion

    “We appreciate Bloomberg’s foray into fiction and look forward to future episodes,” said Frank Shaw, a spokesman for Microsoft.

    #17 9 months ago
  18. debug

    @17 Hahaha. That Frank Shaw.

    #18 9 months ago