Microsoft COO Kevin Turner leaving for CEO job at Citadel Securities

Kevin Turner is leaving his COO post at Microsoft after an 11-year run.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Considered by a number of current and former Microsoft employees as one of the most polarizing figures at Microsoft, chief operating officer Kevin Turner is leaving Microsoft to become CEO of Citadel Securities, a division of Citadel LLC.


Microsoft COO Kevin Turner

Turner has been COO of Microsoft since 2005. Before that, he held various management positions at Wal-Mart, including president and CEO of Sam's Club, for nearly 20 years.

Turner has been heading the company's worldwide sales, field, marketing and services organizations, as well as the partner channel. He oversees more than 51,000 Microsoft employees. Turner also is a member of Microsoft's inner-circle Senior Leadership Team.

I asked Microsoft who will be replacing Turner. No word back so far.

Update: There won't be a single replacement. Microsoft is dispersing Turner's responsibilities among several managers. And Turner is staying on through the end of July, CEO Nadella said in a July 7 email.

At one point, Turner -- along with a number of other Microsoft senior leadership team members -- was considered a candidate to replace former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. When Turner was passed up for current CEO Satya Nadella, some company watchers (me included) wondered how long he'd remain at Microsoft.

Turner is credited as having introduced the concept of scorecarding at Microsoft, something which didn't endear him to the masses. Scorecarding was something Turner championed at Wal-Mart as a way to measure the company's success.

Turner is expected to start at Citadel as CEO of the company's securities business "after a short transition period," according to Citadel's announcement of his appointment on July 7.

Update: Here's Turner's goodbye mail to the Microsoft troops:

From: Kevin Turner

Sent: Thursday, July 7, 2016 7:48 AM

To: WW Sales Marketing & Services Group

Subject: Two words++

Thank you...

These two words seem highly inadequate and insufficient, but they come from the bottom of my heart.

For the past nearly 11 years, it has been an absolute pleasure being your partner.

Your partnership, hard work and ability to be a team have built out a world-class Sales, Services, Operations, Field Marketing, and Support organization, and together we have consistently delivered incredible results.

I am confident you will continue to transform Microsoft, our Customers and our Partners and lead them to the digital world with the strong foundation we have built.

As I reflect over the past 11 years, leading our revenue growth from $37 billion to over $93 billon has been an incredibly rewarding thrill.

Even more than that, seeing our Customer and Partner Satisfaction levels go to all-time highs, watching our retail stores come on and thrive, seeing us move our selling from licenses to solutions and seeing our Cloud transformation explode have been some of the proudest accomplishments that I have ever been a part of in my professional career!

You all have had a positive and profound impact on my life, both as a person and as a leader.

The past decade was a pivotal and foundational time for my family and me, as my children have effectively grown up here in the Northwest, and as a result, they have been blessed with so many opportunities to learn and grow as they become adults.

For my next chapter, I will be joining Citadel and working with another incredible founder, Ken Griffin - something I have some experience with.

For the third time in my career, I will be learning an entirely new industry and a new set of businesses as the Vice Chairman of Citadel and the CEO of Citadel Securities. Citadel is one of the world's most successful and admired hedge funds as well as the leading equity trading firm in the United States and a leading market maker.

I will remain your biggest fan and will once again be an important Microsoft customer!

With my deepest sincerity, admiration and gratitude, thank you again for everything. I have had an absolute blast and loved every minute of my time at Microsoft!

While this decision is incredibly emotional for me, it reminds me of one of my favorite euphemisms (you know how I like those)-"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened!" Please know that I am smiling with pride and joy in my heart!

Keep driving hard and know that I will be proudly cheering you on!

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