Coping with the disarray in the economy and the markets these days seems like a full-time job for any finance executive. But Chris Liddell, Microsoft's CFO, argues that if executives spend all their time dealing with the current crisis, they're missing the opportunity to devise a strategy for thriving in new economic circumstances once the recession ends. "It's important that finance people don't just focus on how we get through today and tomorrow and next month," Liddell says. "It's how we set the company up for success in the future."
Liddell describes the current turmoil as a "reset," and expects the economy emerging from the reset will operate at a lower level than it has in recent years. If activity is going to be subdued, "obviously the challenge is who will succeed well in that environment and who will not succeed well," he says.