Microsoft Corp. said Tuesday its Chief Financial Officer, Chris Liddell, will leave the company at the end of this year to pursue a new job.

Liddell, 51, joined Microsoft as CFO in 2005. He has been widely recognized as a force behind cutting $3 billion in costs in the past year after the economic downturn left a dent in Microsoft's profits.

The cost cutting plan included Microsoft's first mass layoffs, wage freezes, cuts to employee travel and other expenses.

Microsoft has named Peter Klein as his successor. Klein, 47, began working for Microsoft in February 2001 and currently is the chief financial officer of Microsoft's business division, the company's largest by revenue.

Before joining Microsoft, Klein spent 13 years in corporate finance, primarily in the communications and technology sectors.

Microsoft says Liddell, a New Zealand native, is looking at a number of opportunities that will expand his career beyond being a CFO.

Liddell will stay at Microsoft through Dec. 31 to ensure a smooth transition, the company said.

Microsoft shares fell 21 cents in after-hours trading to $29.74.