The software giant has approached Ford (F) CEO Alan Mulally and Oracle (ORCL) Pres. Mark Hurd in its search for a new chief executive, the Wall Street Journal said. It's also considering Nokia exec Stephen Elop, who will join Microsoft (MSFT) when it acquires the Finnish company's cellphone unit. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer in Aug. said he plans to retire within a year. Microsoft climbed 1%.