Alan Mulally isn’t going anywhere until the end of 2014, Ford director says

mulallyWhile Ford CEO Alan Mulally is considered one of the front-runners to replace Steve Ballmer at Microsoft, he may not be able to leave his current job.

“Alan is staying through the end of 2014 and that’s all I know,” Edsel Ford II said on the sidelines of the unveiling of the new Mustang this morning, according to a report by the North Jersey Record.

Ford, the great-grandson of Henry Ford and one of the members of the company’s board, went on to say that Mulally hasn’t been pressured to make any public statements outright denying his interest in the top office at Microsoft because he has already offered private assurances that he’s not going anywhere just yet.

“Frankly, he has told us that his plan is to stay with Ford through the end of 2014,” Ford said.

Still, recent rumors point to the Ford chief as the top external candidate for Microsoft’s CEO position. The other frontrunner is rumored to be Satya Nadella, the head of Microsoft’s cloud services division. Tony Bates, the former CEO of Skype and the head of Microsoft’s business division and Stephen Elop, the former CEO of Nokia, are both said to be on the short list for the job.

Mulally, also a former Boeing executive, has been widely credited with Ford’s turnaround, and was one of the architects of Steve Ballmer’s “One Microsoft” reorganization, which would seem to make him a logical candidate for the position. But it’s entirely possible he just can’t get away from Ford.

Microsoft’s stock was down almost 3 percent following the news.