Greg Maffei has resigned as chief financial officer (CFO) of Microsoft. He will be replaced by John Connors, the current vice president of the software giant's worldwide enterprise group, Microsoft revealed today.

Maffei has accepted a position as the chief executive officer of Vancouver-based Worldwide Fiber, which is currently building a 22,000-mile fiber-optic network in the US.

Connors, who will take up the CFO position on January 7, has been with Microsoft for 11 years in various senior management positions, including a spell as general manager of worldwide financial operations. On an interim basis, the worldwide enterprise group will report to Jeff Raikes, currently group vice president for worldwide sales and support, Microsoft said.

"He's going from CFO to CEO, so it doesn't look like he was pushed," said Chris Le Tocq, a software analyst with Gartner Group, in San Jose, California. "There is nothing here to suggest a negative deal. If you're a CFO and you have millions of dollars, based on your (stock) options, the next question is, 'Do you want to remain a CFO?’"