Microsoft Appoints New Chief Operating Officer

Microsoft has named Kevin Turner as their new Chief Operating Officer (COO) – a position which has remained vacant for a three year stretch. Turner, the former president and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sam's Club, a chain of warehouse stores owned by Wal-Mart, will begin work under his new title at Microsoft on September 8th, 2005.

Turner's appointment at Microsoft is an apparent attempt to relieve Chief Executive Steve Ballmer of duties overtaken after Rick Belluzzo stepped down from his position in 2002. Since then, Ballmer has been left to oversee seven business units and all operational divisions, filling the role of CEO and COO simultaneously.

"This is another effort to fill that No. 3 executive role at Microsoft, which has proven to be a tough position because Bill and Steve have little inclination to give control to anyone else,'' said Matt Rosoff, a research analyst. "At the same time, Ballmer doesn't have the bandwidth or desire to manage all the operations stuff.''

The appointment will make Turner the second outsider Ballmer has hired to a top executive post in the past five months.

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