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After guiding Nokia out of choppy waters and into a Microsoft acquisition of its smartphone business, potential CEO candidate Stephen Elop could be mulling some very big changes if he becomes Redmond's top dog.
Bloomberg reported Friday that former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop may already have some big ideas for running Microsoft, despite the fact that Steve Ballmer is still very much in charge of the company right now.
Elop is widely rumored to be on a short list of potential candidates for Ballmer's position, and sources "with knowledge of his thinking" claim that the former Nokia CEO could shake up Microsoft in a big way if hired.
For one thing, Elop apparently wants to ramp up Microsoft's strategy for putting the company's popular Office productivity suite "on a broad variety of smartphones and tablets," including iOS and Android. Touch-friendly versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint are already in the works, but Ballmer has made it clear they won't arrive until after first landing on the company's Surface tablets.
Those closest to Elop claim that's only the beginning, with the CEO candidate considering the sale or shutdown of key Microsoft assets "to sharpen the company's focus." The costly Bing search engine is one such service that could get the axe, but Elop apparently feels selling off the company's thriving Xbox game console business could be another area of interest.
As crazy as that might sound, there could be a method to Elop's madness: After all, Microsoft clearly has its hands in too many pies at the moment, but that could prove to be a hard habit to break.
Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter