WME-IMG Hires Former GM Exec Chris Liddell To Replace Peter Klein As CFO
WME-IMG announced it hired former Microsoft and GM CFO CHRIS LIDDELL. The New Zealander will replace PETER KLEIN as CFO of the organization. Liddell is familiar with IMG, having served on the company’s board in '11 at the request of late IMG Chair TED FORSTMANN. He previously served as Microsoft CFO from '05-09 and GM from '10-11. As GM’s finance chief, he played an integral role in the company’s IPO that year. He was part of the team that pitched investors on a stock sale that raised $20.1B on its first day. Most of that money was returned to the government, which bailed GM out in '08. As WME-IMG looks ahead to a potential IPO in the future, bringing on Liddell gives the company a finance chief with recent experience with that process. He also can assist the company as it looks to manage its debt, eliminate costs and improve profitability in the future. WME, which acquired IMG in a $2.4B deal late last year, outlined an aggressive cost-cutting plan for IMG that called for eliminating $151M in costs in the first 18 months of ownership. In a statement, WME-IMG co-CEO PATRICK WHITESELL and ARI EMANUEL said, “Chris is a seasoned professional with a great track record and we’re excited to welcome him to the team.” Liddell most recently was an investor in 818 Sports & Entertainment, an investment group that included Augusta National President BILLY PAYNE, former IMG College CEO PAT BATTLE and New Zealand Sky Network Television Founder CRAIG HEATLEY. He will exit that investment group after joining WME-IMG. Prior to his roles at Microsoft and GM, Liddell served as CFO of Int'l Paper and CEO of Carter Holt Harvey. He also was a member of the SEC’s advisory committee on improvements to financial reporting and served as a director of the New Zealand Rugby union. He holds a bachelor degree from Univ. of Auckland and a master of philosophy from Oxford Univ.