How do Microsoft employees feel about the departure of long-time COO Kevin Turner?
Pretty happy, according to chatter on an anonymous chat app called Blind, shared with Business Insider by a Microsoft employee.
Blind is an anonymous messaging app for employees where they can chat with their colleagues or with people from other companies, about any topic they desire.
Over 100 Microsoft employees took to Blind to talk and gossip about it. For instance, 60% of them said they think Turner was fired. (For the record, he officially wasn’t fired. He formally resigned on June 30.)
When hearing that he left, employees commented things like:
“Yeeeeeeeeess!!!! Best 4th of July gift ever!!!!!” (Microsoft employees clearly like exclamation points.)
A mini-poll on the app of 95 employees on Blind showed that 93 of them felt “crazy happy” about the news that he’s gone while 2 felt “crying sad.”
Turner, who cut his teeth at Walmart rising from cashier to CEO of Sam’s Club, was known for his rough-and-tumble personality, and for running a tight ship with high accountability that had great success.
He’s not the only one on Nadella’s leadership team with that kind of leadership style. Windows boss Terry Myerson has a similar reputation.
And several people commented on that.
“Happy!!! Now we need Terry to go and it will be the best year ever.”
“Can we do a buy one get one offer? Terry comes free with KT?”
Some people seemed worried that his leaving means that his area of Microsoft, the sales, marketing and service group (SMSG), will be seeing layoffs.
“Last time a guy of that level left, we had massive layoffs (Nokia). Are we seeing a pattern? Has the field underperformed last year and he is taking the fall for it with more to come?”
“Writings on the wall and I’m not sticking around for it.”
“It’s fairly typical in the industry at large as well. I think this adds credence to the idea of layoffs in smsg next week.”‘
One poked fun at the good-bye email Turner sent to the troops.
“Gotta love the hidden jabs execs put in their emails on their way out. For those who can’t read between the lines, here’s a translation of the email KT sent this morning to Terry and all of WDG [Windows and Devices Group]:
“Being your mentor was a lot of fun -> you’re an amateur
“Your creativity is an inspiration to me -> you’re a liar
“I admire the big ideas and courage you bring when there is a lot at stake -< you’re batsh-t crazy
But Turner also did have his defenders. One wrote:
“Say what you want about him, but he and Ballmer raised the cash we needed to build this cloud business we are poised to dominate. There are few other companies in the world that have amassed the cash to build out the cloud infrastructure we have, he should get some credit fo that. The new org structure is intriguing, will be interesting to see how these new (and well qualified) leaders step up to fill this big void.”
While Microsoft declined to comment on the sentiments of employees toward Kevin Turner, CEO Microsoft Satya Nadella did publicly thank Turner in his email to the troops announcing his departure and how Nadella was reorganising Turner’s unit.
“Kevin has made a tremendous impact at Microsoft over the past 11 years. 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. I have learned a lot from Kevin over these past few years and wish him all the best.”