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Microsoft CFO Liddell leaving; Klein tapped

Chris Liddell is stepping down after four and a half years as Microsoft's chief financial officer. He will be replaced by Peter Klein of Microsoft's Business Division.

Peter Klein, Microsoft's new CFO

Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell is leaving the company at the end of the year, the company announced Tuesday.

Liddell has been Microsoft's CFO since 2005, but the past 18 months have been especially long, as Microsoft debated whether to acquire Yahoo and navigated the choppy waters of the recession with its first-ever companywide layoffs. He will be replaced by Peter Klein, who had been serving as CFO of the company's Business Division, which develops and sells Microsoft Office.

In a statement, Liddell said he was looking to do something with his career beyond serving in the chief finance role.

"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," CEO Steve Ballmer said in prepared remarks distributed by Microsoft.

As of the close of Tuesday's stock market, the value of Microsoft's stock had increased by 18 percent since Liddell made his debut as CFO.

This story was clarified on Wednesday to reflect that the layoffs referenced above were Microsoft's first companywide layoffs. In the past, the company has cut jobs in specific units.