Microsoft Partner Channel Head Kevin Turner Leaving To Join Citadel Securities

Microsoft Chief Operating Officer Kevin Turner, who heads the company’s partner channel and worldwide sales, is leaving to join Citadel Securities, according to a release by Citadel.

Turner will leave Microsoft to become CEO of Citadel Securities, a division of Citadel LLC. According to ZDNet, the executive will stay on through the end of July, and rather than fill his role as COO, Microsoft will disperse Turner's responsibilities among several managers.

"It is an incredible honor for me to serve in this important role, and I am grateful to Ken Griffin and the entire Citadel Securities team for the trust they are placing in me," said Turner. "Citadel is a global technology leader, recognized for its work to level the playing field for investors and make markets more fair, transparent and efficient … I also want to express my sincere personal thanks to Satya Nadella for his leadership and mentorship, and to colleagues at Microsoft for their friendship, hard work and dedication."

[Related: Microsoft COO Kevin Turner: The Man Who Would Not Be King]

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Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CRN.

Turner has been COO of Microsoft since 2005, and was once considered a candidate to replace former CEO Steve Ballmer. But he was instead succeeded by current CEO Nadella in 2014. Despite being passed up for the head position, Turner was the company’s highest-paid executive for a number of consecutive years, making just over $12.6 million during the company’s 2014 fiscal year.

Chicago-based Citadel Securities, a big player in market making, says on its website that its share of the U.S. retail investor market is 25 percent.

The transition takes place less than a week before Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference, which begins July 11. Turner is especially known for delivering the closing keynote speech at that conference, firing up partners and often indulging in competitive trash talking against Microsoft's market rivals.