Ina Fried

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British Bookmaker Taking Bets on Next Microsoft CEO

While much of the tech world has spent the last week handicapping who Microsoft will choose to replace outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer, one British bookmaker is taking actual bets.

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Ladbrokes has posted its list online, and the Top 10 picks are all either current or former Microsoft executives.

Nokia CEO (and former Microsoft Office unit head) Stephen Elop is the favorite at 5 to 1, followed closely by current COO Kevin Turner at 6 to 1. Former Windows chief Steven Sinofsky and current Microsoft exec Julie Larson-Green are both offered up at 8 to 1. Next up are a roster of current Microsoft executives: Search chief Qi Lu, business software head Kiril Tatarinov, Windows and Windows Phone engineering head Terry Myerson, enterprise and cloud unit head Satya Nadella, and former Skype CEO and current business development chief Tony Bates. Former Microsoft executive and VMware CEO Paul Maritz rounds out the Top 10, coming in as a 14-to-1 shot.

Also on the betting sheet but further down are Apple’s Jony Ive, former Apple executive Scott Forstall, Google’s Vic Gundotra, T-Mobile CEO John Legere, and Jeff Raikes, the former Office unit head who currently runs the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Interestingly, Chairman Bill Gates is the second-longest shot on the board, at 50 to 1, only slightly higher odds than Ladbrokes gives Microsoft of landing Apple CEO Tim Cook, listed as a 100-to-1 shot.


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There’s a lot of attention and PR around Marissa, but their product lineup just kind of blows.

— Om Malik on Bloomberg TV, talking about Yahoo, the September issue of Vogue Magazine, and our overdependence on Google