The 11 outsiders included Reed Hastings, CEO of NetFlix and a former Microsoft board member (16 to 1 odds); eBay CEO John Donahoe (20/1); Marissa Meyer, the new CEO at Yahoo (33/1); and Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook (40/1).
But the oddest candidates on Ladbrokes' odds list were Jonathan Ive, who overseas all software and hardware design at Apple, and current Apple CEO Tim Cook. Ladbrokes gave Ive odds of 40 to 1, and Cook even longer odds of 100 to 1.
In the off chance that Cook moved north to Redmond, Wash., someone who put down $100 would see a profit of $10,000.
"We often take bets on things like this, under the umbrella of 'novelty betting,'" said Donohue of Ladbrokes. "It's not something we will take vast sums of money on at all, with the average stake less than 10 [$15.54 at today's exchange rate]."
Ladbrokes' odds are listed on its website.
The bookmaker's line on the top 10 candidates for Ballmer's CEO chair. (Data: Ladbrokes.)
Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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