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New GM CFO Could Get More Than $6 million

Liddell in line for millions in stock, beyond fed-restricted pay.

by on Dec.24, 2009

A six million dollar smile?

One of  the chores awaiting General Motors’ new Chief Financial Officer, Chris Liddell, will be to pull the books in order following the maker’s well-publicized bankruptcy, a critical step towards GM’s planned Initial Public Offering.

But creative accounting is also part of the duties.  GM, like other companies living off of federal bailout money, has to live within strict pay limits for its senior executives, a real problem when it comes to attracting good talent to the troubled automaker, which presumably Liddell is.

The solution? A package that includes not only $750,000 in annual salary for the New Zealand native, but nearly $5.5 million more in stock.  Of course, that depends on GM pulling off the IPO, which would bring the company public again, allowing it to actually trade stock.


That could happen as early as 2010 – though Chairman and Acting CEO Ed Whitacre cautioned, earlier this month, that he will not be rushed to stage the IPO before the company is ready. GM lost $1.2 billion in its last quarter, hardly the kind of results to encourage potential investors to buy the stock.


GM Names Liddell New CFO and V. Chairman

Previously served as Microsoft finance chief.

by on Dec.21, 2009

General Motors has raided Microsoft to bring in its long-awaited new CEO, New Zealand native Chris Liddell.

In an unexpected move, General Motors has raided the high tech world of Microsoft to recruit its new Chief Financial Officer.

Wrapping up a search that began shortly after the automaker emerged from bankruptcy, last July, GM has named 51-year-old Chris Liddell to serve as its new CFO and Vice Chairman. The New Zealand native will replace Ray Young, who will become second-in-command at GM’s fast-growing International Operations.

“Chris brings a depth and experience to this job that were unmatched in our search for a new financial leader,” said GM chairman and Acting CEO Ed Whitacre, who two weeks ago hinted that a new CFO was coming.  “Chris will lead our financial and accounting operations on a global basis and will report directly to me.  We’re also looking to his experience and insights in corporate strategy as a member of the senior leadership team in helping our restructuring efforts.”

In his new post, Liddell will have some serious challenges ahead.


GM released preliminary third-quarter financial results, but they did not conform to traditional accounting guidelines.  Liddell will have to bring the books in line with regulatory mandates and then help prepare the troubled automaker for a planned Initial Public Offering.