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SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp is considering Ericsson AB Chief Executive Hans Vestberg as a possible successor to outgoing CEO Steve Ballmer, Bloomberg cited sources briefed on the software giant's executive search as saying on Wednesday.
Bloomberg did not report on whether the company has reached out to Vestberg, whose naming may come as a surprise to many on Wall Street.
Analysts have discussed potential candidates ranging from company insiders Satya Nadella and Tony Bates to several outsiders. But speculation refocused on internal choices this month after leading external candidate, Ford Motor Co CEO Alan Mulally, took himself off the list.
Reuters could not immediately verify Bloomberg's report, and Ericsson was not immediately available for comment.
Microsoft declined comment. A source close to the company has said no CEO appointment was likely until the last week of January or February.