15 Candidates to Replace Steve Ballmer as Microsoft CEO

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Hedge-fund muckety-muck David Einhorn ignited a firestorm when he called on Microsoft to oust its long-time CEO Steve Ballmer. Though Microsoft's Board of Directors has publicly expressed support for Ballmer, that hasn't prevented industry pundits from speculating about who might make a suitable replacement. Here at PCWorld, we've given the issue serious thought, and come up with a list of our own.

John Sculley: Microsoft's biggest threat may be Apple, and the company's one-time CEO Sculley has demonstrated the ability to bring Apple to the brink of doom. Maybe someone should give him the chance to finish the job that he started back in the '80s.

Kinect: You can hack it to do anything. Why not have it run Microsoft?

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Who better to take down an Android than The Terminator himself? Plus, though he may not sweat as much as Ballmer, he has a lot of experience walking around oiled.One further benefit: He's a proven hands-on manager.

The Winklevoss Twins: No one in Redmond is keen on admitting it, but apparently Windows was their idea.

Bill Gates: Steve Jobs already proved that there is such a thing as a second act in American Life. Why not bring back one-time wunderkind Bill to replicate the magic that was...I don't know, Windows NT? Internet Explorer 5? Clippy? All he needs is a turtleneck and a dream.

Arianna Huffington: She could dramatically reduce payroll by convincing all Microsoft employees to work for experience, as opposed to filthy lucre.

The Hulk: One thing Ballmer was great at was rallying the troops with his enthusiasm. We think the The Hulkster could do an even better job.

Mila Kunis: Who would you rather watch deliver a boring keynote address at some enervating tradeshow? Heck, we'd even like to see her monkey-dance.

Al Roker: Now there's someone with deep knowledge of the cloud. And if the past few years have proved anything, it's that you do need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.

Harold Camping: When things are going wrong and people are starting to panic, you need someone in charge who can calm folks down and put the situation into perspective. What with all the Microsoft doomsday scenarios, Camping seems like a logical choice; and he'd be committed to the company for the long haul--or at least until next October 21.

Charlie Sheen: Two words: "tiger blood."

Kurt Russell: China is turning out to be the biggest thorn in Microsoft's side. And Kurt is a man who knows how to handle "Big Trouble in Little China." We're confident that he could tame the full-size version as well. And if not, he could always bring in Chuck Norris to mop up.

John Hodgman: Hey, the dude's a PC.

George Romero: Lots of experience with bringing the dead back to life. Also, a gigantic company like Microsoft has an amazing amount of brainpower--and of course a huge number of brains--and a seasoned director of operations like Romero would know just what to do with them.

Lady Gaga: These days it's impossible to have a list without Lady Gaga on it. We'd hate to be out of compliance. On top of that, if Microsoft ever wants to put the screws to Amazon, she's already shown that she can take the online retailer down.

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