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Leaving Microsoft with a nice cushion…

When Microsoft (MSFT) announced on Nov. 24 that CFO Chris Liddell would be leaving the company by the end of the year, the release said that Liddell was “looking at a number of opportunities that will expand his career beyond being a CFO”. About a month later, we learned that Liddell would in fact continue to be a CFO — albeit with the added title of Vice Chairman — at General Motors.

Now one might think that going from the relative stability of Microsoft to the relative instability, or at least far more challenging environment, of General Motors might be a risky career move. And in the 8-K that GM filed last month, it seemed to account for that by giving Liddell a huge increase in salary — $750K a year to be finance chief at GM, a 33% increase over his last reported salary at Microsoft — as well as a bunch of other longer term incentives.

But on top of the gifts bestowed upon Liddell by his new employer, the 10-Q that Microsoft filed on Friday afternoon included Liddell’s resignation agreement with Microsoft, which spelled out $1.9 million in payments to the former finance chief — half of which was paid on Dec. 31 and the other half which will be paid on March 31.

That’s certainly a nice little cushion to begin a new chapter in one’s career.

Image source: Made in China