Ford CEO Alan Mulally has withdrawn his name from consideration as the new CEO of Microsoft, putting an end to speculation that he would succeed Steve Ballmer.
Mulally is one of America's top CEO's, having led Ford out of near bankruptcy to a dominant position on the Auto-market while refusing federal bailout money.
Ballmer has repeatedly been named among the worst of the country's CEOs, and the news he planned to step down from the role created massive speculation about who his successor would be.
The list of candidates is now a bit shorter, as top-runner Mulally told the Boston Globe that he had no plans to leave his current post.
"I would like to end the Microsoft speculation because I have no other plans to do anything other than serve Ford," Mulally said.
It was never a sure thing that the aging Mulally – now 68 – would take over; concerns both about his age and lack of experience with tech were producing plenty of detractors.
Even so his name was among the last four under consideration as late as November, according to a Reuters report.
With Mulally out of the ring, the three remaining candidates are all essentially internal: Microsoft's own Satya Nadella, former Skype CTO Tony Bates, and Nokia CEO Stephen Elop.
Microsoft said in December that it planned to announce the new CEO early in 2014.