Alan Mulally, CEO of Ford Motor Company, has ruled himself out of the race to become Microsoft's new CEO.
Mulally had been regarded as the type of turnaround expert that Microsoft investors wanted as CEO, but Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates suggested that the CEO needed "the ability to lead a highly technical organisation and work with top technical talent" at Microsoft's shareholder meeting in November - skills that are not associated with Ford's CEO.
It was also reported that Mulally was thought of as too old for the Microsoft hotseat - he's 68 - and that he lacked the required knowledge of the technology sector.
Now, he has confirmed that he is out of the race to be Microsoft CEO.
"I would like to end the Microsoft speculation because I have no other plans to do anything other than serve Ford," Mulally told Associated Press.
He said he will stay with Ford in 2014, which will presumably come as a relief to the second biggest US car manufacturer, as it is thought that a plan was in place for Mulally to remain as CEO through at least this year.
Microsoft, meanwhile, will have to look elsewhere for a replacement for Steve Ballmer.
Microsoft director John Thompson, who was charged with leading the search, admitted in December that an appointment will not be made until early in 2014, at the earliest.
It is believed that Mulally and Qualcomm chief operating officer Steve Mollenkopf were approached by Microsoft last year but turned down the opportunity of running the world's biggest software company.
Satya Nadella, the current head of enterprise software at Microsoft, and other external candidates are being considered as potential successors to Ballmer.