Ford CEO Alan Mulally appears less likely to become the next chief executive at Microsoft as the software company seeks "dark horse" candidates from Silicon Valley rather than Detroit, Nomura's Rick Sherlund told CNBC on Wednesday.
Sherlund, head of technology equity research at Nomura, cited a blog post published Tuesday from Microsoft board member John Thompson reiterating founder Bill Gates' statement that the chief executive was "a complex role to fill, involving a complex business model and the ability to lead a highly technical organization and work with top technical talent."
Thompson said he expected the board to finish its search in early 2014, and his statement leaves Sherlund less confident that Mulally would head for Microsoft after Ford.
"Just reading between the lines, ... [it] implies that maybe the dynamics of the board are shifting from just a good general manager who could help enhance shareholder value and can work with technical people who could fix the business," Sherlund said on "Squawk on the Street." "It seems to me that perhaps Bill Gates is digging in his heels now and saying, 'We want technical leadership.'"
(Read more: Microsoft expects early 2014 CEO choice)