Mulally, 68, is one of the few candidates still in contention for the Microsoft role, according to several sources close to the technology giant, and he has not tried to dispel talk that he is interested in the job.
That has begun to vex some on Fords board, two sources told Reuters this week, and the issue will be discussed when the board meets in the Detroit area on Thursday.
Mulally is a board member but it is not clear if he will attend the board meeting. The sources said that directors intended to raise the issue with him this week or next. Its drowning out the rest of the story, said one source close to Ford's board. People dont write about Mustang, they dont write about earnings, they write about Mulally.
That has led to frustration and a desire for clarity, the source said.
Microsoft declined comment on the progress of its CEO search, and a Ford spokesman repeated earlier statements that Mulally is slated to stay as Ford CEO through 2014, although it emerged in September that the board would be open to him leaving earlier than that..
Even if Mulally, credited with reviving Fords fortunes, does not take the Microsoft job, it is unlikely he will stay at Ford through the end of next year, the sources said.