Microsoft Partners: Splitting COO Turner's Duties Will Allow Channel Execs To 'Divide And Conquer'

Microsoft partners say they may see quicker action and additional resources from a major leadership reorganization spurred by the resignation of COO Kevin Turner.

Turner, whose responsibilities had included oversight of the sales and marketing division at Microsoft, will become CEO of Citadel Securities and will stay on with Microsoft through the end of July.

In an email to staff Thursday, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said the responsibilities that previously were a part of the COO role will now be divided among five executives.

[Related: Microsoft Partner Channel Head Kevin Turner Leaving To Join Citadel Securities]

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’I only see it as being a good thing for the channel,’ said Rick Jordan, director of mobility sales at Toronto-based Tenet Computer Group. ’At the end of the day, it’s five people laser-focused on various segments of the partner program. I’m hoping from a partner standpoint they’ll do a good job listening to partners. I think they’ll be able to achieve actions quicker within Microsoft.’

The COO responsibilities will be divided among these five executives:

Judson Althoff will lead Worldwide Commercial Business at Microsoft. Althoff had been president for Microsoft North America since 2013. He joined the company from Oracle, where he served in the role of channel chief as senior vice president for Oracle’s Worldwide Alliances and Channels and Embedded Sales. Althoff took over the top channel job at Oracle in 2008 and was credited with increasing partner training and driving better rebate incentives for partners. Before joining Oracle in 2002, Althoff was a district sales manager at EMC.

Jean-Philippe Courtois will lead Global Sales, Marketing and Operations at Microsoft. Courtois previously served as president of Microsoft International and has been with the company since 1998.

Chris Capossela will lead the Worldwide Marketing and Consumer Business at Microsoft. He has served as chief marketing officer at Microsoft since early 2014 and prior to that was corporate vice president for the Consumer Channels Group since its creation in 2011. Capossela has been with Microsoft since 1991 and has held a number of roles, including corporate vice president for Microsoft’s Office division from 2003 to 2011.

Kurt DelBene, who has been executive vice president for Corporate Strategy and Planning at Microsoft since 2015, will now also head up IT and Operations at the company. DelBene was with Microsoft from 1992 to 2013, and was president of Microsoft’s Office division from 2010 to 2013. He rejoined Microsoft in 2015 after working in venture capital and with the Obama administration’s website.

Amy Hood, who is chief financial officer at Microsoft, has been given additional responsibilities as of Thursday, including leadership over the finance team for Microsoft’s sales and marketing group. Hood has been with Microsoft since 2002 and before that spent eight years with Goldman Sachs.

"It’s a win-win if they're able to divide and conquer," said Robert Keblusek, chief technology officer of Downers Grove, Ill.-based Sentinel Technologies, No. 131 on the 2016 CRN Solution Provider 500 list.

He said channel partners will benefit from having five new people taking over Turner's role as the positions are based around sales, marketing and business strategy. Keblusek said dividing up Turner's responsibilities gives channel partners additional resources and help when going to market.

"It looks like we can get a little bit of additional support as we go to market with their products with customers," said Keblusek. "I think now we can bring better solutions to our customers and even make sure that customers are getting the most out of their Microsoft relationship."

MARK HARANAS contributed to this story.