A betting service has compiled a list of potential candidates for Microsoft’s soon-to-be-vacant CEO role that you can wager on. It’s a partially serious, partially silly list. Microsoft COO Kevin Turner as CEO? Perhaps. Apple CEO Tim Cook as the new Microsoft boss? Probably not.
But Turner pays out but 6 to 1 while Cook is a 100 to 1 longshot, so place your bets accordingly.
In the thinking of betting group Ladbrokes, Steven Sinofsky might make a return to Microsoft (8 to 1 odds), Stephen Elop might leave Nokia to run his former employer (5 to 1), Marissa Mayer might ditch Yahoo for Big Redmond (33 to 1), and Jack Dorsey might head up a company whose products he likely hasn’t used in years (40 to 1).
Yes, you can bet that Bill Gates will come back to Microsoft as its chief, but it pays out 50 to 1, which is a pretty decent indication that the boys at Ladbrokes aren’t utterly silly. But they have “Cheryl Sandberg” [sic] on the list at 40 to 1, so I doubt their savvy.
CNET jokingly notes that “bookie’s algorithms are more finely tuned than a first violinist’s Strad,” which makes the above fun, as the bookies in this case have created a few bets that they know won’t pay out. Hell, they could offer Cook at 1,000 to 1 and it would still be a decidedly negative EV bet for the average piker.
We here at TechCrunch recently played Ballmer Bingo ourselves, noting that Google’s Vic Gundotra might be in play. Ladbrokes will pay out 25 to 1 if that happens.
In reality, a short list of candidates has not been leaked yet, probably because Microsoft is early in the process of picking its next CEO. Who will it be? I know it’s not me or you. The list of candidates — people with enough experience and knowledge and charisma to run a technology company at the scale of Microsoft — is small, but not vanishing. For now, bet away — current Windows boss Terry Myerson pays out 12 to 1.
Top Image Credit: Aanjhan Ranganathan