Chris Liddell, Microsoft’s departing CFO, will become GM’s CFO and vice-chairman, the company says.
Chris became CFO at Microsoft in May 2005. He’s leaving at the end of the month.
His transition will be from an industry leader facing fierce competitors in Apple and Google to a one-time industry leader, now fighting for survival.
“If Chris Liddell was dour at Microsoft, he’s going to be sunshine & roses at GM,” writes Hedge Fund manager and industry watcher Eric Jackson.
In a statement, Ed Whitacre, GM chairman and CEO said:
“Chris brings a depth and experience to this job that were unmatched in our search for a new financial leader. Chris will lead our financial and accounting operations on a global basis and will report directly to me. We’re also looking to his experience and insights in corporate strategy as a member of the senior leadership team in helping our restructuring efforts.”
Here’s the press release:
Chris Liddell has been appointed General Motors vice chairman and chief financial officer, it was announced today. Liddell was most recently CFO for Microsoft Corp., a post he held since May 2005.
“Chris brings a depth and experience to this job that were unmatched in our search for a new financial leader,” said Ed Whitacre, GM chairman and CEO. “Chris will lead our financial and accounting operations on a global basis and will report directly to me. We’re also looking to his experience and insights in corporate strategy as a member of the senior leadership team in helping our restructuring efforts.”
Liddell will start with GM in the new year. While at Microsoft, Liddell was responsible for leading Microsoft Corp.’s worldwide finance organisation, which included overseeing acquisitions, corporate strategy, treasury activities, tax planning, accounting and reporting, internal audit, and investor relations. He is leaving Microsoft on December 31 of this year.
Before joining Microsoft, Liddell was CFO at International Paper Co., the world’s largest forest products company, with similar responsibilities. Prior to that, he was chief executive officer of Carter Holt Harvey Ltd., then New Zealand’s second-largest listed company. He also has worked as an investment banker as managing director and joint CEO for CS First Boston NZ Ltd.
Liddell, 51, holds an engineering degree with honours from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, and a Master of Philosophy degree from Oxford University in England. He has served as director of the New Zealand Rugby Union and governor of the New Zealand Sports Foundation. He is a distinguished alumnus of the University of Auckland. Liddell was a member of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Advisory Committee on Improvements to Financial Reporting.
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