Microsoft fills CFO post

Microsoft has appointed a paper industry specialist as its new chief financial officer.

Microsoft has appointed a paper industry specialist as its new chief financial officer.

Chris Liddell was previously chief financial officer at International Paper, a US Fortune 100 company. Before that, he served as chief executive officer of one of New Zealand's largest companies, Carter Holt Harvey, another forest products company.

"Chris brings great talent and skills both in finance and in business leadership," said Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO. "Having been both CEO and CFO of international companies gives him the ability to contribute broadly to our finance, operations and business strategy."

"The tremendous level of optimism, energy and passion for excellence at Microsoft was a major factor behind why I am delighted to take on this opportunity," Liddell said. "Given Microsoft's track record of innovation, outstanding people and proven ability to create value, the opportunities that lie ahead are nearly limitless."

International Paper bills itself as the world’s largest forest products company, and Liddell was a fierce cost-cutter at the company.

Carter Holt Harvey is New Zealand’s second-largest listed company. While there, Liddell shrank the company’s operation through restructuring and selling off acquisitions.

Before joining Carter Holt Harvey, Liddell was managing director and joint chief executive officer at CS First Boston NZ. Liddell holds an engineering degree from the University of Auckland and a master of philosophy degree from Oxford University.

Microsoft’s previous CFO left at the beginning of the year to join a venture capital company.

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