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CFO Peter Klein to leave Microsoft at the end of fiscal year

Peter Klein

Microsoft has announced that chief financial officer Peter Klein will leave the company at the end of this current fiscal year. The news comes alongside the company's Q3 2013 earnings. Klein has been at his post for just four years, but has been at Microsoft since 2002. A new CFO will be named from the "finance leadership team" at Microsoft within the next few weeks.

The move comes as Microsoft continues to battle hard against dwindling PC sales and the sheer climb its mobile platform, Windows Phone has to endure to compete against well-established competitors. Kelin said the following in a statement:

"I’ve had a great experience as CFO and overall in my time at Microsoft. We have an incredibly strong finance organization, and I’m looking forward to working with my successor on the transition through the end of the fiscal year."

Klein will be present on Microsoft's earnings call today. CEO Steve Ballmer praised Klein as a key member of his team in the following statement:

"It has been a pleasure to work with Peter as CFO. He’s been a key member of my leadership team and a strategic advisor to me, and I wish him the very best."

Source: VentureBeat

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Reader comments

CFO Peter Klein to leave Microsoft at the end of fiscal year

37 Comments

I see Microsoft if finally getting rid of the bad people.  Ballmer should be soon.  Bring back Lord Bill Gates! 

Not fast enough. Imagine what MS would be like if young blood like Joe Belfiore and Ben Rudolph were in charge. Too many old cronies still running the show, inc and especially Ballmer.

Joe Belfiore failed to deliver a proper "finished" OS in 3 years, he is even unable to provide a clear roadmap about what happens when. He must be a nice guy to talk to, but much of Windows Phone's failure is his fault. This guy should be fired before Ballmer, not replace him.

Gotta love arm-chair quarterbacks.

I realy like what they've done so far with WP.  The experience is still a trend-setter and lightyears beyond the 80's flashback grid-of-icons experience you get elsewhere.  And under the hood, they've achieved some impressive feats.  WP8 shares the same core as Windows 8/RT.  To my knowledge, no other company has been able to do this at the scale Microsoft is doing.  Windows Blue and followup efforts will continue to unify the platforms and the services that drive them.

Sometimes it's mis-steps.  Sometimes it's external factors.  And remember that hindsight is 20/20.  WP faces some formidable entrenched competition.  As long as the trend remains an upward one, it's hard to find fault despite our frustration that WP isn't on a faster track towards market leadership.

But Microsoft has alot going for them.  It certainly feels like they are innovating more then ever before.  And now they could have the best position to offer a unified experience accross all major device categories.

What is your definition of finished? Does the os crash? Is it laggy? From where I am standing, it is a very solid os. Is it missing some feature? sure. To some these features are deal breakers. To others they are just minor inconveniences. What they aren't capable of doing is marketing and conveying a clear message and that is all on the CEO.

Ballmer is widely disliked - the loud-mouthed, arrogant, aggressive, bald, fat, sweaty, used-car salesman look isn't exactly appealing to the masses! I think he is a good CEO, but he's a terrible presenter. I feel like he is always simmering with rage that he even has to be on stage, and I can only tolerate listening to his loud-mouthed bellowing for short periods of time.

You mention only personal characteristics, most--if not all--of which are shared by CEOs or top-level executives across every major corporation (for better or worse). I think Ballmer is deeply invested in Microsoft and wants to see it succeed in a way that only key people to a company's beginnings are (it's partially his 'baby' so to speak). That's not to say that an "outsider" is unable to come in and refresh Microsoft's strength--that will have to come eventually--but for the time being, I think Ballmer is one of few people passionate enough to run Microsoft. If he's getting rid of people who have been "top dogs" at Microsoft for many years, I'm sure it indicates his seriousness and awareness about adding "fresh blood" to Microsoft's troops. I'd give him a few more years. Plus, it's not like he has run Microsoft to ground in terms of profitability or performance--give the guy a break.

I did say "I think he is a good CEO, but he's a terrible presenter."
I think he has done a good job running the company and taking over the reigns from Bill is no small feat. But it's hard to take him seriously when I see him up on stage all sweaty and literally shouting about how great everything is. He has been called a "used-car saleman" by more people than me. I'm not saying I want a wooden actor on stage, just someone with a bit more charm...

Getting rid of people could be a sign of his awareness for the need for fresh blood or he is getting rid of people who could replace him. Many though Sinofsky was going to be his replacement. Add to that that many are calling to get rid of him and I'm sure he doesn't feel like he has kob security. The CFO is another position companies look at when they are searching for a replacement for the CEO. I think the guy is a politician and he is trying to strengthen his position to hold on to his job.

The CEO is the public image of the company. Ballmer is pretty bad at presentation. He would be a great VP of sales. However, he isn't a great CEO. Plus the company is always reacting instead of leading despite all the money spent on research.That is on the CEO as well.

I like Ballmer more than Gates. Ballmer seems to want to compete while Gates seemed to want to be a monopolistic control freak on the entire industry.

being a "monopolisitc control freak" means you have competed and WON.  "Wants to compete" means you are not winning and are a LOSER.
If you are not first you're losing.

meh... People leave their job for something else all the time for reasons that have little to do with the company.  It's often more personal or because of issues with the people they directly work with.

Doesn't actually make any sense, MS is among the most stable companies in the world is named yearly one of the best to work for and pays very well in positions like CFO, so "jumping ship" most certainly isn't the reason.

On the other hand the stock has been flat and stock options is a major part of their compensation. Maybe he feels he will make more elsewhere.

ya i saw that news a few days ago, pretty lame of them (more reason to hate on them i guess), but to be fair, whatever samsung did has nothing to do with windows phone so it kind of doesn't make sense to make a posting in this site about it imo

"The move comes as Microsoft continues to battle hard against dwindling PC sales and the sheer climb its mobile platform"

Did WPCentral forget that MS just posted a massive revenue and profit, including a big increase in revenue from the Windows division compared to Q1 2012? And that PC sales aren't exactly dwindling much, just that the definition of PC is changing. 

I believe that ballmer has ahistory of deposing people who begin to have enough knowledge and expertise to succeed him.

About the "dwindling PC sales" thing, I would like to share my point-of-view regarding this subject. I use computers since MS-DOS 6.22 days, and until Windows 7, what I saw was each new OS release, I needed a new PC in order to run this new OS properly. My last PC was built by me in 2007 to run Vista, and did it properly, and when Windows 7 came, much lighter and polished, this same PC managed to run it as if it was newer than when I installed Vista, and then Windows 8 came and I felt the same thing. Photoshop aside, I never had any problem or hiccups running Windows 8 and Office 2010. I only bought a new PC two months ago because my old PC died after a lightning strike on the power grid.
The thing is: The PC technology is mature now, if you isn't a PC gamer or heavy photo and video editor, there's no need to buy a new computer every year or two. I've used my old Core 2 Duo 2.13GHz for 6 years and I only bought a new PC because the old one died, and to be honest, I barely feel any performance difference, unless when I am editing a TIFF picture on Photoshop.
I think we reached that point where PC is much like a fridge or a stove, and it's not Microsoft fault. Unless they decide to purposely make their new OSes much heavier, just to force us to buy new PCs...

Just because someone is leaving a company it doesn't mean that it's a broken company. The leadership change can be very good for the company. For example, BlackBerry is in a better position now that they have had several leadership changes, especially while trying to align so many things ( 3 screens) vision. I look forward to what the next CFO can do for the MSFT vision

He was their Chief Financial officer, what does that have to do with innovation???? He handles the books, And I saw at one of the biggest hedge funds, their advice on Microsoft stock, hold on to it, its coming back and you would be dumb to sell it. Also Seeing Apple have failing quarters. I don't really care about a CFO leaving. One thing people always forget, Microsoft paid 200 million to Steve Jobs to bail Apple out of the hole. Apple has failed twice. Microsoft hasn't do your history.
 
Go buy some shiney new googles glasses for 1500, that thing screams lawsuit, people walking in front of buses, google maps being wrong, people wrecking  cars when they turn on a road thats not there. lol Looks cool, but also looks like a lawyers dream.

Yes, the guy who controls the policies behind where and how money is spent couldn't possibly have anything to do with a company's ability to innovate.