* CFO Liddell to leave at end of year
* To be replaced by Business unit CFO Peter Klein
* Liddell looks to expand career
* Microsoft shares drop slightly after hours (Adds background, details on Liddell)
By Bill Rigby
NEW YORK, Nov 24 Microsoft Corp's (MSFT.O) Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell is to leave the company at the end of the year, indicating that he is looking for a bigger job at another company.
Liddell, 51, has been CFO at the world's largest software company since May 2005, after joining from paper and packaging maker International Paper Co (IP.N), where he was also CFO.
The New Zealander, who has a masters degree in philosophy and does triathlons in his spare time, is now "looking at a number of opportunities that will expand his career beyond being a CFO," according to Microsoft.
Before coming to the United States, Liddell was CEO of New Zealand forest products company Carter Holt Harvey Ltd, and also worked as an investment banker.
He will be succeeded as Microsoft CFO by Peter Klein, who is currently CFO of Microsoft's Business Division, which makes the highly profitable Office suite of programs.
Microsoft shares fell 21 cents in after-hours trading to $29.74. (Reporting by Bill Rigby; editing by Carol Bishopric and Gunna Dickson) ((firstname.lastname@example.org; +1 206 418 9236; Reuters Messaging: email@example.com))
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