Steve Ballmer Explains Why He Chose Amy Hood For The CFO Job

steve ballmer

Amy Hood was just promoted to CFO of Microsoft today. She’s stepping into a lucrative position and, as other publications are pointing out, she’s the first woman to hold the CFO job at Microsoft.

A woman CFO is hardly earth shattering. Oracle made Safra Catz its CFO in 2011. And HP’s CFO, Cathie Lesjak, has held that job since 2007.

CFOs are often some of the highest paid employees in the company. Over the past three years, her predecessor, Peter Klein, earned $3.6 million, $3.6 million and $5.1 million respectively, between cash, bonus and stock, according to documents filed with the SEC. (That didn’t make him the highest-paid exec. COO Kevin Turner was. He made $10.7 million in 2012 alone.)

What does CEO Steve Ballmer see in Hood? According to Microsoft’s email to employees, she’s a dealmaker that understands how to move Microsoft into the brave new world of cloud computing.

She’s also got a good relationship with investors. Microsoft needs to figure out how to get investors excited about Microsoft’s future. It’s stock has hovered at ~$30 mark or lower for about a decade.

Ballmer told the Microsoft troops today:

“As the CFO of MBD, she’s helped lead the transition to services with Office 365, and has consistently driven strong financial and operational management. I worked closely with her as we developed the strategy and execution for both the Skype and Yammer acquisitions, and her critical thinking and attention to detail will serve her well in this new position.”

Hood says she hears this loud and clear. In her email to Microsoft employees today, she wrote:

“As a company, we are laser focused on our transition to devices and services, and we have a key role to play in helping drive that transition.”

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