Elop left Nokia to re-join Microsoft as Executive VP of Devices and Services following Microsoft’s deal to buy the handset business for $7.2 billion.
The former Nokia chief executive remains the bookies’ favorite to replace Steve Ballmer, who retires in 12 months, with Ballmer himself doing little to pour scorn on the idea in an interview with The Seattle Times.
“Stephen will go from an external [candidate] to internal. The board will continue to [look at] all appropriate candidates through that process,” said Ballmer, who made similar comments to The Verge.
Elop is now in his second stint at Redmond having been in charge Microsoft’s business division prior to becoming Nokia CEO in September 2010.