Microsoft named Amy Hood as chief financial officer on Wednesday, immediately replacing Peter Klein who'll leave Microsoft at the end of June. Hood, a 10-year veteran of Microsoft, will be the company's first female CFO during a period of rapid executive exits and massive decline in PC sales.
Hood has overseen the takeovers of multiple companies for Microsoft, such as Skype and Yammer Inc., during her time as CFO for the Microsoft Business Division (MBD). Her administration of the division, starting in 2010, made it Microsoft's most profitable division, pulling in $24 billion in sales.
That experience, and her background with Microsoft's Servers & Tools Division, has analysts excited.
"She's a big proponent of the cloud and the value proposition for the company and for investors," Mark Moerdler, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. told Bloomberg. "She's very articulate, which is going to be important. We got into a conversation of the cloud in the last meeting and you could see her exuberance over the opportunity."
"Amy brings the right talents and experiences to the role as we continue to strengthen our focus on devices and services," Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's chief executive officer, said in a news release.
Before Microsoft, Hood worked for Goldman Sachs in various roles. Her former Goldman colleagues describe her as a higher energy and direct leader, one who's not afraid to disagree with investors and executives like Ballmer.
Ballmer's leadership style at Microsoft has been the point of discussion in the past. According to CFO.com, previous sales executive Joachim Kempin claims Ballmer rids any executive which may challenge his position as CEO.
Ballmer has overseen Microsoft's shift from a traditional software company toward one which focuses on devices and services, a direction Hood shares. The company has made major pushes into the mobile and tablet areas, but has so far failed to gain a major foothold in a field dominated by Google and Apple.
The appointment makes Hood the fourth women elevated to Microsoft's executive level, according to The Seattle Times. Previous female executives include Microsoft's Head of Human Resources, Lisa Brummel; Head of Windows Product Development, Julie Larson-Green; and Chief Marketing and Financial Officer for Windows, Tami Reller.
Microsoft has $74.5 billion in cash and investments, which Hood will manage according to Bloomberg.