Members of Microsoft’s Bing team should get their résumés updated if Stephen Elop becomes the company’s new CEO. Unnamed sources tell Bloomberg that if Elop replaces Steve Ballmer as Microsoft’s chief executive, he will consider killing off money-losing operations such as its Bing search engine and its Xbox video game console. Elop would also try to sharpen the company’s focus and would make a cross-platform Microsoft Office that works on the iPad one of his top priorities.
In signaling that he’s on board with whacking Bing and the Xbox, Elop is following the advice of Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen and Nomura analyst Rick Sherlund, who have both signaled that the company needs to rethink its strategy and lop off divisions that aren’t pulling their weight. Bing in particular has been a major loser for Microsoft so far and has neither made money nor gained significant traction among web users. With a market share that’s stuck in the 20% range and cumulative losses that analysts estimate total between $11 billion and $17 billion, Bing looks like a prime candidate for the chopping block for whoever replaces Ballmer as Microsoft CEO.