Report: Server unit boss Eric Rudder, 38, seen as early leader in race
to one day lead company.
NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - A published report said that the head of
Microsoft's server business could be an early front-runner to
eventually run the world's No. 1 software company, although current
leadership has given no indication they are anywhere close to leaving
The New York Times reported Wednesday that Eric Rudder, 38, a senior
vice president at the software company, is being seen as a leading
candidate among Microsoft executives. Microsoft Chairman and
co-founder Bill Gates and CEO Steve Ballmer are both only 49 and not
likely to leave the company any time soon, the newspaper said.
Rudder's group has grown at 15 to 20 percent annually for the last few
years, reaching $10 billion a year in sales. He's also seen as a
leader in making an outreach effort to Microsoft customers, moving
away from the company's corporate headquarters near Seattle to its
office in Paris to be closer to its full range of global customers.
Before he took over the server business two years ago, Rudder served
as Gates' technical assistant for four years, which the newspaper
reports was seen as a sign he was being groomed. That tenure is the
longest that anyone has served in that position.
The newspaper lists some other top executives who could also be
candidates to eventually succeed Gates and Ballmer. They include
Steven Sinofsky, a senior vice president leading the Office business;
Chris Jones, a vice president guiding Windows development; Yusuf
Mehdi, a senior vice president in charge of MSN; and J Allard, a vice
president who heads the Xbox team.
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