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Ch-ch-ch-changes at Microsoft as COO Kevin Turner heading for the exits

TechCrunch TechCrunch 7/07/2016 Ron Miller

In a blog post this morning, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced that long-time COO Kevin Turner would be leaving after 11 years at the company.

At the same time, Citadel Securities announced on its website home page this morning that Turner would be coming on board as CEO.

Nadella gave the expected platitudes in the announcement, while thanking for Turner for his service to the organization.

“He built the sales force into the strategic asset it is today with incredible talent while at the same time more than doubling our revenue and driving customer satisfaction scores to the highest in company history,” he wrote in the blog post announcing Turner’s departure.

Turner was actually a key figure at Microsoft and was involved in everything from sales and marketing to product development, and after over a decade at the company in which included many changes internally and in the industry at large, perhaps he was ready to move on to a new challenge.

In fact, his job was so integral to the organization and touched so many areas that Nadella announced that he wanted to spread out those responsibilities moving forward, rather than concentrating all of that control in a single job function. No less than five people will be taking over Turner’s duties, according to the blog post.

Turner’s exit follows the departure of four fellow executives last June, which included former Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, who was head of the company’s device group at the time of his departure; Mark Penn, EVP and Strategy Officer; Eric Rudder, who was in charge of advanced technology and Kirill Tatarinov head of business solutions.

There is always going to be turnover when a new leader comes onboard and those departures were due in large part to a reorganization Nadella undertook after taking over as CEO in 2014.

Turner was reportedly on the short list to replace Ballmer before Nadella was hired, but given he remained at his job for over two years after Nadella’s accession, Turner likely was simply looking for a new opportunity after so long at one company.

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