Global goer comes home for Pohlen fundraiser
Chris Liddell is a man who epitomises success and Matamata residents have the chance to listen to him share a few words of wisdom on Wednesday, March 19, at Longlands Farm and Restaurant.
Dinner with Chris Liddell is the first Prominent Personalities for Pohlen event and is the Pohlen Foundation Trust’s newest fundraising venture.
Foundation chairperson Lady Margaret Spring said it was an absolute privilege to have someone like Mr Liddell as a guest speaker.
‘‘We are very lucky that generous people like Chris are so willing to give up their time to support our fundraising initiatives for Pohlen Hospital,’’ Lady Margaret said.
Hard work has seen Mr Liddell climb further up the international corporate ladder than any other New Zealand businessman.
It was announced only last week that Mr Liddell had replaced former Kiwibank boss Sam Knowles as Xero’s chairman.
Born in Matamata in 1958, Mr Liddell was educated in Auckland where he attended Mount Albert Grammar School and went on to gain a degree in engineering with honours from the University of Auckland. Mr Liddell also received a Master of Philosophy degree from Oxford University in England.
From 1995 to 1998, he was the chief financial officer of Carter Holt Harvey.
From 1999 to 2002, he was chief executive officer (CEO) of Carter Holt Harvey, which at that time was New Zealand’s second largest listed company.
From 2003 to 2005, Mr Liddell served as chief financial officer ( CFO) of International Paper.
Mr Liddell was a senior vice president and CFO of Microsoft where, from 2005 to 2009, he was responsible for leading their worldwide finance organisation.
His responsibilities included overseeing corporate strategy, acquisitions, treasury activities, tax planning, accounting and reporting, internal audits and investor relations. Mr Liddell left Microsoft in December 2009.
He was the vice chairman and CFO of General Motors (GM).
Mr Liddell joined GM in January 2010, and led the company’s global finance operations until March 2011.
He oversaw GM’s US$23 billion float in 2010 and was once tipped as the firm’s likely chief executive.
In 2012, Mr Liddell was headhunted and became executive director of Transition Planning for the Romney Presidential Campaign.
He also was a director and treasurer of the Romney for President fundraising campaign, a joint fundraising vehicle with the Republican National Committee (RNC).
When his appointment at Xero was announced last week, Xero founder and chief executive Rod Drury said that Mr Liddell had been a long-time supporter of Xero since it listed on the NZX in 2007.
‘‘His experience at the top levels of the global technology industry and US capital markets position us strongly as an emerging global company. As you would expect from a fast-expanding software company, our strategy is to increase US representation on our board,’’ Mr Drury said.
Mr Liddell is also well-known for his philanthropic activities, most recently supporting Mount Albert Grammar School.
He is a proud Kiwi who married Renee Harbers in March 2011.
Dru’ry – Xero founder and chief executive Rod
High achiever: Chris Liddell is coming back to Matamata.