There had been rumors that Microsoft put Mulally, along with Stephen Elop and Satya Nardella, on the short list to replace current CEO Steve Ballmer.
--Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York
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For some companies, the fallout could be very ugly.
Companies like Apple, Microsoft and Cisco can afford aggressive buybacks and dividends, but activists could force others with offshore cash to choose between equity and debt holders.
U.S. stocks are pointing to a lower start as global markets are down, especially in Europe.