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Microsoft Board in Needle-in-Haystack Hunt for New CEO

Microsoft Corp.’s next chief executive officer will need the expertise and strategic vision that can help the biggest software maker confront a broad range of threats that Steve Ballmer, for all his expertise as a salesman, was never able to repel.

Microsoft requires a product person like Marissa Mayer, who oversaw some of Google Inc.’s most-popular services including its home page, and was brought in to turn around Yahoo! Inc., according to analysts and executive recruiters.