Following the news that Steve Ballmer was relinquishing his grip on the Microsoft reigns, Ladbrokes have been subject to the biggest influx of tech-based bets in history as to which lucky so-and-so is going to sit his desk.
Stephen Elop is the smouldering favourite to land the much-coveted post at 1/6, with wagers in support of his selection flooding in from as far afield as Thailand, Canada, Finland and Germany.
Elop weighed-in around the 5/1 mark when the market was opened, but since confirmation was announced that he was on the shortlist of heirs to throne, his price has plummeted and it would now come as something of a shock were he overlooked for the post.
His stranglehold is exemplified by the fact that his nearest foe in the betting is a 6/1-rated Alan Mulally.
To dispel any confusion, this is not the former England fast bowler with 58 Test wickets to his name, but the president of the Ford car-manufacturing conglomerate. Operating in a completely removed sector from the software game is apparently afflicting his aspirations to land the hottest job in the business world.
Firm-favourite Elop is familiar with the wonderful world of tech through his time running Nokia, a company Microsoft bought out once the stalwart mobile phone, the 3310, became unpopular and sales plummeted.
He ran the Windows Phone division of Microsoft previously and he seems a perfect fit to take over from outbound Gates, despite his perceived failure to put Nokia into the smartphone gravy.
Before dipping your toe into the steaming 1/6 water that he nails the post though, hang fire. Plenty of prospective punters are enquiring about the price of Julie Larson-Green amid reports Microsoft are not averse to appointing an internal candidate to the role.
Larson-Green, Ballmer’s understudy, is believed to be the most likely should they keep it in the family, but she’s yet to be confirmed on the shortlist, so the twists and turns in the Microsoft betting saga may not yet be at an end.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date