Ford spokesman Jay Cooney said: "There is no change from what we announced last November. Alan remains fully focused on continuing to make progress on our One Ford plan. We do not engage in speculation."
Investors have pushed Microsoft's board in recent months to look for a turnaround expert, such as Mulally or Computer Sciences CEO Mike Lawrie, to succeed Ballmer. Some investors have also suggested to the board that co-founder Bill Gates should step down from his role as chairman, saying he stands in the way of radical reform at Microsoft.
Microsoft remains highly profitable and last month beat Wall Street's quarterly profit and revenue forecasts. But it has lost ground to Apple and Google in mobile computing.
Ballmer has focused on making devices, such as the Surface tablet and Xbox gaming console, and turning key software into services provided over the Internet.
Some investors say that a new chief should not be bound by that strategy. They are concerned that, with both Gates and Ballmer up for re-election to Microsoft's board, they will retain their influence over the company.
(Read more: Nokia,Microsoft attempt to rain on Apple's parade)
Gates has focused his day-to-day efforts on philanthropy since 2008 when he vacated his office on campus. People close to him say he is not considering a return to the CEO position.
Members of the CEO search committee have been speaking with dissenting shareholders, according to sources familiar with the conversations.
Activist shareholder ValueAct Capital Management was offered a board seat by Microsoft in August. Several sources said the investor will also be given the same access as the board to the final five candidates.
Mulally, 68, is credited with inspiring a cultural change that helped Ford reverse its losses and avert a federal bailout in 2009.
It remains unclear when Mulally will leave Ford, which he has led since 2006. He has repeatedly said he plans to adhere to his agreement to stay with Ford until the end of 2014.