Global goer comes home for Pohlen fundraiser

Matamata Chronicle - - News -

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.

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