Officials at Microsoft Corp. announced the retirement of Chief Financial Officer John Connors, 45, late Tuesday. Connors is leaving the software giant to become a partner at the Seattle-area venture capital firm Ignition Partners LLC.
Company executives are considering both internal and external candidates to fill the CFO slot. One possible candidate, reports Reuters, is Microsoft’s corporate controller Scott Di Valerio, who also was controller at the Walt Disney Co.
Connors, along with Di Valerio, oversaw the launch of Microsoft’s new corporate finance structure in 2003, which assigned a CFO to all seven business units, granting those units more autonomy.
Also that year, Microsoft ended its practice of awarding lucrative stock options, which turned many Microsoft employees into millionaires in the 1980s. Today, Microsoft rewards employees with direct stock awards.
Since Connors took the CFO reins in December 1999, Microsoft’s annual sales almost doubled to nearly $37 billion and cash on hand more than tripled to $64.4 billion, noted Reuters.
Connors, a 16-year Microsoft veteran, said he would assist with the transition. “I will miss Microsoft a great deal, but it’s time for me to move to a new chapter in my life,” Connors said. “I’m looking forward to a greater emphasis on community and business participation in the Northwest.”
Last quarter, Microsoft made corporate finance headlines when it doubled dividends, boosted stock repurchases, and issued a special $3.00 dividend.
Connors’ last major tasks at Microsoft will be to report the company’s latest quarterly earnings on Jan. 27 and to help find a new CFO, added Reuters.