1. Take the chair 2. Sell Xbox 3. ???? 4. Profit
With longtime Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer stepping down, new leadership could mean big changes. According to Bloomberg, one such change could mean selling off Bing and Xbox, should the former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop take the job.
For those not familiar, Steve Balmer's spot is looking to be replace by four hopefuls: executive vice president of Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise group Satya Nadella; Former Skype CTO Tony Bates; Ford CEO Alan Mulally; and ex-Nokia CEO Stephen Elop.
According to confidential sources from Bloomberg with "knowledge of [Elop's] thinking." he is looking to kill the trouble Bing service, allow the Microsoft Office suites to be available on more platforms rather than use it to drive Windows sales, and sell the Xbox brand "if he determined they weren't critical to the company’s strategy."
Nokia has declined to comment on the story for Bloomberg, but a Microsoft spokesperson released a statement to GamesIndustry International saying, "We appreciate Bloomberg's foray into fiction and look forward to future episodes."
This isn't the first time, however, that there has been talk about selling the Xbox division. Analysts such as Nomura Holdings Inc's. Rick Sherlund would support such a move, claiming that a sell of such a healthy division would boost fiscal 2015 earnings by 40 percent. None of this means anything, of course, if Stephen Elop gets beaten out for the job. And in my humble opinion, why would that man be allowed anywhere near a CEO's chair again?
Time for a history lesson. Under Elop's leadership, Nokia's smartphone market share dipped from upwards of 35 percent, to a measly three percent. Revenue dipped by 40 percent and profits by 95 percent. By comparison, his rival and Ford CEO Alan Mulally managed to keep Ford from avoiding government bailout money, returning the company to profitability during the 2008 housing bubble and resulting recession.