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TheStreet Open House

Who Should Microsoft Hire?

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- After writing that Alan Mulally wouldn't be the next CEO of Microsoft (MSFT), I got to thinking, who would?

The technology giant needs a new leader, an innovator. That doesn't have to be the CEO, but while we're at it, we might as well kill two birds with, well, you know.

When you look at a company like Apple (AAPL), it has strong management from CEO Tim Cook and powerful innovation from Jony Ive.

But Microsoft doesn't have a Jony Ive. It needs someone who can create a truly incredible product or service and do what current-CEO Steve Ballmer has largely failed to do during his tenure.

I think plenty of people are capable of simply managing the tech titan. Maybe 'simply' is the wrong word, because it's not exactly a simple task.

But I guess what I'm trying to say is that the company has two options: Manage what it has, or adapt to the world's quickly changing technology landscape. The latter is obviously more difficult.

With the first option, you essentially bring in a number cruncher who can perhaps spinoff a few assets, while increasing efficiency. That's great and all, but at best it'll just cement Microsoft as a dinosaur tech company with a good dividend.

While revenues have grown nicely over the past four years, gross profit has hardly budged, increasing to $57.6 billion in June 2013, from $50.1 billion in 2010.

The dividend has improved modestly albeit, but unless investors are using this as simply an income stock with pretty decent safety, it's not enough. The stale stock price reflects that.

Why not shoot for something bigger? Why not try and change the world?

I think Microsoft should go for it. In the tech world especially, sitting back and managing what you have doesn't work forever.

Eventually other companies will eat their lunch. Whether that's Sony (SNE) with video games and entertainment, Google (GOOG) with office software or Apple in multiple categories.

For those in doubt, look at what happened to BlackBerry (BBRY) when it chose complacency over innovation. As soon as the company decided that its device couldn't be knocked off the pedestal, that's exactly what happened.

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