Well here’s a development that no one in the gaming sphere saw coming. While it’s well documented at this point that Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced his retirement within the next year, the question of his official successor has remained unanswered. Now a few candidates are popping up, and, according to business publication Bloomberg, one of them is Stephen Elop, former CEO of Nokia, as well as former head of the Microsoft Office division.
Where it gets interesting for gamers is when he divulges his plans for Microsoft should he inherit the CEO title. The strategy, which would be a confusing blow to die hard Microsoft brand loyalists is here:
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.
While it’s true that the Xbox division is no longer the money sink it was thanks to putting the RROD fiasco behind them, it was also a big departure in focus for a company originally centered around operating systems for home and business use. If Stephen Elop really does end up sitting behind the Big Desk at Microsoft, it looks like there’s going to be a serious house cleaning going on, when he decides what to keep and what to lose.