SAN FRANCISCO – It seems everyone has an opinion on who Microsoft’s next CEO should be, but if Marissa Mayer has a name, she’s not telling.
While TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington tried his hardest to get a name out of the Yahoo CEO, Mayer chose to only speak in broad terms, saying that any new CEO needs to have a solid grasp of Microsoft’s enterprise business.
“I don’t know who the board is considering, but when I look at their product line, I see a lot of strength in the enterprise area,” Mayer said. “I would hope that they’re looking for someone strong on the enterprise side of the business.”
Mayer is in a unique position to comment because Yahoo is in a search and advertising partnership with Microsoft, an arrangement that was mentioned in passing as part of her talk.
When asked about whether she thought Bill Gates should come back to the company he founded with Paul Allen, Mayer refused to definitively join Marc Benioff in saying that Gates is needed back in Microsoft’s offices. That said, she certainly seems to think a Gates return would be valuable for Microsoft.
“I think there’s nothing like the passion of a founder,” Mayer said.
Previously on GeekWire: Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff: Bill Gates needs to come back to Microsoft and fire some people
Blair Hanley Frank is a technology journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has also worked for Macworld, PCWorld and TechHive. He can be found on Twitter @belril.