Big news for the Kiwis out there – Microsoft CFO Chris Liddell is leaving the company at the end of the year. The Microsoft position was a bit of a coup for New Zealand, one of our own filling a high profile role for a (very) high profile company.
Liddell himself seems upbeat, saying that;
My time at Microsoft has been an outstanding experience, and I am delighted to be leaving the company in such great shape, we have built a world-class finance team and established strong internal accountability. Microsoft is coming out of the economic downturn with not only great product momentum but also strong discipline around costs and a focus on driving shareholder value.
Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer was muted in his comments saying that;
Chris and his finance team have accomplished a great deal over the past four and a half years, the team is deep and strong, and has an excellent record of building value for our shareholders
It reads to me like Liddell is seeing the pain MS will face in the next year or two as it transitions from it’s traditional cash cow product mix to a different one. That transition is going to be corrosive to their revenue streams and share price and he’s no doubt looking at what that will do to his career path.
It’ll be intensely interesting to see where Liddell ends up next. Apparently he is;
looking at expanding beyond being a CFO – He’s looking at CEO gigs and the private equity space
Watch this space.