Microsoft is considering Ericsson AB Chief Executive Officer Hans Vestberg as a possible successor to exiting CEO Steve Ballmer, Bloomberg reported citing unnamed sources close to the matter. The report further says that Microsoft cloud-computing chief Satya Nadella and former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop are also on the list.

The 48-year-old swede, who joined Ericsson in 1988, has been with the company for more than 25 years. He has worked in almost every part of the company, except research and development, and has held management positions at Ericsson in US, Brazil, China and Mexico. He was the company's Chief Financial Officer from 2007 to 2009, before he became CEO in 2010.

The report comes a week after Ford CEO Allan Mulally pulled out of the CEO race stating that he plans to stay with the automaker through 2014. Last December, Qualcomm's Steve Mollenkopf opted out of the race after he was promoted as CEO of said company.

Microsoft's main software business is struggling and the company has had limited success in fast emerging markets like tablets and smartphones. This, coupled with the presence of Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer on the board, will make sure that it will be a less independent and a tough job ahead for any new CEO.

Both Microsoft and Ericsson declined to comment on the report.