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Office 365 supremo seizes control of Microsoft's purse strings

Redmond's first female CFO credited with services cash shift

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Top Microsoft exec Amy Hood, who masterminded the multi-billion-dollar Skype and Yammer deals, is Redmond's new CFO.

Hood was named today as the new custodian of the corporate purse. She replaces numbers-man Peter Klein, who announced his exit in April but will stay on until June.

She is the first woman to occupy the chief financial officer position of the world’s largest software company. Her ascent follows that of female colleagues Julie Larson-Green and Tami Reller, who assumed joint operational responsibility for the Windows group when vice president Steven Sinofsky unexpectedly quit in November 2012.

Microsoft's chief executive Steve Ballmer said in a canned statement that Hood was an “instrumental leader” in the Microsoft Business Division’s transition to services with Office 365, who had delivered “strong financial and operational management through her time on the business.”

According to Microsoft, Hood had been “deeply involved in the strategy development [sic] and overall execution of the company’s successful acquisitions of Skype and Yammer.”

Hood, who joined Microsoft in 2001, became CFO for Microsoft's MBD in January 2010, settling in just in time for Microsoft’s purchase of the web communication duo.

As group CFO, Hood oversaw all financial strategy, management and reporting for the group. Before MBD CFO, Hood was “chief of staff” for Microsoft’s Server and Tools Group.

Microsoft paid $8.5bn for Skype in 2011, $1.5bn over the price sought by the venture capitalist and investor consortium that owned the loss-making web telco. Microsoft had been the only bidder in a non-existent fray to snatch Skype, which had 170 million customers. Redmond followed its acquisition of Skype by splashing out $1.2bn on enterprise social network Yammer, which boasts seven million users.

Both are being folded into roadmaps for Microsoft’s Office products. ®

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