If you're betting on Mark Hurd to be the next CEO of Microsoft, you'd better start looking for some seriously long odds.
Hurd, the current co-president of Oracle and former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, told CNBC on Tuesday that he is "not planning" to leave his present job to take over Steve Ballmer's soon-to-be-open position at Microsoft.
Interestingly, CNBC noted that while Hurd appeared to squash rumours that he was planning a move to Redmond, he also "did not deny that he had been contacted by Microsoft."
Hurd, who joined Oracle a few weeks after resigning from HP in August 2010 following an investigation into an expense report scandal, has been mentioned on the short list of rumoured candidates to replace Ballmer.
Microsoft's current CEO announced in August that he'd be stepping down as Microsoft chief within a year. In early September, the software giant announced a blockbuster deal to acquire Nokia's handset business for $7.2 billion (£6.14 billion) — news that immediately vaulted Nokia CEO Stephen Elop to the head of the speculative list of Ballmer's successors.
Ford chief Alan Mulally has also been rumoured to be in the running—last month, All Things D reported that the former Boeing executive with strong ties to the Seattle area had "vaulted to the forefront of the candidates to become the new CEO of Microsoft."
Other industry watchers have speculated that former Skype CEO Tony Bates, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, or even Ballmer's predecessor Bill Gates could get the job, while PCMag's John Dvorak recently made the case for ex-Symantec boss John Thompson.
As for Hurd, he told CNBC that he is "very happy" in his current job during an interview in which he talked up Oracle's cloud advantages and revenue outlook.
Hurd also had some generic advice for his counterparts in Redmond, who have been trying to navigate a difficult transition from a PC-dominated era to a market where mobile offers the most growth and profit potential: "Microsoft needs to work on their own business."
Image: Flickr (jdlasica)