By Dorothee Tschampa
and Matthew Miller
Ford Motor Co. Chief Executive Officer Alan Mulally said he intends to stay as head of the second-biggest U.S. carmaker through next year, amid reports that Microsoft Corp. may seek to recruit him.
“I plan to continue to serve as Ford’s president and CEO until at least the end of 2014,” to remain “absolutely laser focused” on earnings growth, Mulally wrote in an email to Bloomberg News on Friday.
“I love serving Ford and will continue serving Ford,” Mulally said in an interview from Berlin on Bloomberg Television.
Mulally, 68, has been talked about as a possible interim CEO at Microsoft, technology-news website AllThingsD reported Sept. 2.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, 57, said on Aug. 23 that he plans to step down in the next 12 months, opening a debate about his possible successor at the U.S. software maker.
Speculation on Ballmer’s potential replacement has focused on Nokia Oyj CEO Stephen Elop following the Finnish manufacturer’s $7.2 billion agreement this month to sell its mobile-phone unit to Microsoft. Elop is a former executive at Microsoft, based in the Seattle suburb of Redmond, Wash., and will return to the U.S. company following the deal.
Mark Martin, a spokesman for Microsoft, declined to comment.
Mulally, who previously ran Boeing Co.’s commercial aircraft unit, joined Ford in September 2006 and led the automaker through the global credit crunch following the Wall Street credit crunch without tapping government money. He’s in Berlin at the IFA technology show.