Merrill Lynch CTO John McKinley leaving

Merrill Lynch & Co. announced last Friday that John A. McKinley Jr., the head of the company's Global Technology & Services unit and its chief technology officer, is leaving the brokerage at the end of next month to take a job in the technology marketplace, where he began his career.

The New York-based company is expected to announce that John Cummings, chief operating officer of Global Technology & Services, will take over McKinley's position.

For the past five years, McKinley has served as Merrill Lynch's CTO, taking it through a myriad of technology changes, from launching Web services and electronic trading platforms such as ML Direct and Merrill's Wealth Management Technology Platform to playing a leading role in the company's return to business after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001.

According to an internal Merrill Lynch memo, McKinley's decision to leave "is driven by a desire to return to the technology industry. For the past eight years, he has served as chief technology officer in a large company -- first at GE Capital and then at Merrill Lynch -- and now he intends to pursue a role that brings him closer to clients, to technology development and to bottom-line responsibility."

It wasn't immediately clear where McKinley will go.

"Working at Merrill Lynch has been a tremendously rewarding experience. Be it our race to get online or the tremendous heroism of the team in responding to 9/11, I have never been prouder to work with such a talented, passionate group of individuals," McKinley wrote in the memo.

"We have accomplished what we set out to do, putting in place a world-class technology and operations organization that is efficient and aligned with the needs of our businesses -- in my mind, simply the best team on the Street. Now is the right time for me to get back to managing a P&L."

McKinley joined Merrill Lynch in October 1998 as senior vice president and CTO. He was named executive vice president in February 2000 and head of the combined Global Technology & Services group in February 2002.

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