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At 10, Microsoft COO visits Nigeria … restates commitment to the economy

By Emeka Aginam

While Nigerian market continues to be the toast of international community, Microsoft’s chief operating officer, Kevin Turner at  10   year anniversary of the company’s operation   in the country has restated the software giant’s  commitment to the economy, saying that Nigeria is an important market.

Microsoft's chief operating officer, Kevin Turner, (middle) Hennie Loubser, Regional General Manager for Microsoft, West, East, Central Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands, (right) and Emmanuel Onyeje, General Manager, Microsoft Nigeria (left)in a press conference to mark the company’s 10th year anniversary in nigeria. Photo by Emeka Aginam

Microsoft’s COO  who visited Nigeria as the only African country in his global tour shortly after several meetings with local Nigerian businesses told   IT journalists in a press conference  in Lagos  last week  that  the Nigeria market is one of Microsoft’s most important markets in Africa.

Turner visited  Nigeria, one of Microsoft’s most important markets in Africa  to discuss the company’s ongoing investments in the local information Communication Technology industry  for sustainable business growth.

“Iam  impressed by how resourceful business leaders are here in Lagos. This region has  a strong vision for the future of information technology and the potential that ICT can provide to Nigeria.

“Microsoft is committed to helping Nigeria’s citizens and businesses gain access to the te technology  skills and tools they need to create sustained economic opportunity and to contribute to the bro d and growing knowledge economy in this region.”.

According to Microsoft COO who  engaged   the business sector of the Nigerian economy including  key players in the financial sector   like United Bank for Africa, ( UBA) , First s Bank and Finbank noted that the software giant will continue to invest in the region by partnering with local ICT industry for sustainable development.

“Microsoft opened office here in July, 2000. Since then,  we have been pleased to be part of the local ICT industry and the local economy. Over the past 8 years, we have trained over 5,000 partners.

“Over 12,000 teachers and students have been trained over a period of 4 years as part of partners in learning program. We have also had ongoing partnership with local governments and Economic and Financial Crime Commission to fight Cyber Crime. We will continue to improve the lives of Nigerians through technology” he said.

Similarly, the  Executive  Director,  Finance and Strategy at Finbank   AbdulrahmanYinusa who was excited about the visit of Kevin said that as player in the financial sector of the Nigerian economy, it was  encouraging to see the support they were  receiving from Microsoft at its most senior and strategic  level.

“ The Nigerian economy has shown a 6% average GDP growth in recent years and I believe we re poised for continued success and to have this mirrored by the key player in the ICT sector is indeed r warding.” he added.

It would be recalled that since Microsoft opened its first offices in Nigeria ten years ago, the company has invested heavily in the local community, through its Citizenship initiatives, industry partner ecosystem, ICT tr ining programs and local employment.

Meanwhile, Turner is responsible for the strategic and operational leadership of Microsoft’s worldwide sales, marketing, and services organisation.

He leads a global organisation of over 43,000 employees, including field sales and marketing professionals who delivered over US$62 billion in revenue during Microsoft’s 2010 fiscal year. In addition to driving Microsoft’s sales and marketing programmes, Turner manages the online advertising sales organisation, corporate support organisations, corporate operations and internal Information Technology that support the work of Microsoft’s over 90,000 employees around the world.

As Microsoft’s chief operating officer, Kevin Turner is responsible for the strategic and operational leadership of Microsoft’s worldwide sales, marketing, and services organization. Turner leads a global organization of over 43,000 employees, including field sales and marketing professionals who delivered over US$62 billion in revenue during fiscal 2010.

In addition to driving sales and marketing programs,  Turner manages the online advertising sales organization and corporate support organizations, including product and customer support services, branding, advertising, public relations, marketing research and relationship marketing. Turner also oversees corporate operations and internal Information Technology that support the work of Microsoft’s over 90,000 plus employees around the world.

In 2009, Turner also led and spearheaded Microsoft’s entry into the Retail Stores business and he has global accountability for this newly created business division.

Along with Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Balli’ner and other senior executives, Turner serves on the Senior Leadership Team that sets the overall strategy and direction for Microsoft.

Prior to Microsoft, Turner worked nearly 20 years at Wal-Mart Stores Inc., where he started as a cashier while going to college. Upon graduating from college he held various leadership positions within WalMart including most recently as president and chief executive officer of SAM’S CLUB, with over 46 million members and over $37.1 billion USD in annual sales. Before this role, Turner worked for 13 years in Wal-Mart’s IT department, where he reached the level of executive vice president and chief information officer, overseeing all information systems and IT operations for the company worldwide.

In 1995 at the age of 29, Turner became the youngest corporate officer ever named at Wal-Mart and in 1997 while having worldwide responsibility for all Application Development and Support at Wal-Mart, Turner became the recipient of the first “Sam M. Walton – Entrepreneur Of The Year” Award, which is the highest honour given at Wal-Mart and is determined by the Walton Family.

Turner has also received various selected honours including; TIME Magazine – People To Watch In International Business, FORTUNE Magazine – #4 Top 10 Most Influential on 40 Under 40, Business 2.0 The 20 Young Exec’s You Need To Know, 20/20 Vision Award, cia 100 Award, and in 2007, he was named to the CIO  Hall of Fame by CIO  Magazine, as well as listed fifth on CRN Magazine’s Top 25 Most Innovative Executives.

Turner graduated in 1987 from East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma, USA with a Bachelor of Science degree in Management where he was also the Distinguished Alumnus in 2003. Turner lives in Bellevue, Washington, USA with his wife and 3 children.

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