Microsoft may be considering Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg to take the place of outgoing Chief Steve Ballmer. 

The news, first reported by Bloomber, comes after speculation that Microsoft had its eye on Ford Motor Company's top executive, Alan Mulally. Mulally has since removed himself from consideration for the job. 

Vestberg is an Ericsson veteran who originally served as CFO for the company before accepting the role of CEO in 2010. 

Ericssson declined to comment on the matter. 

In its most recent third quarter, Ericsson reported ( revenue of $8.3 billion, down 2.9 percent over the same quarter last year.Net income for the quarter was $459 million but missed and profit was up 34 percent annually. The company said profits were helped along by an exit earlier in the year from the unprofitable joint venture with STMicroelectronics.  

Shares of Ericsson were down just under 1.5 percent in early trading Thursday to $12.02.