Apple has just announced that SVP and CFO Peter Oppenheimer, a longtime fixture on the company’s earnings calls, will be retiring as of September this year. He’ll be replaced by Apple VP of Finance and Corporate Controller Luca Maestri, who will take over the CFO role beginning in June, followed by a gradual handing off of the rest of Oppenheimer’s responsibilities.
Oppenheimer’s tenure at Apple as CFO over the past decade saw Apple’s annual revenue grow from $8 billion to $171 billion, the company notes in a press release. The departing exec says that his decision to leave after 18 years at Apple is based on a desire to live on the central coast of California, to spend more time involved at his alma mater California Polytechnic State University, to spend more time with his family, to travel more and to finally secure his pilot’s license.
During his time at Apple, Oppenheimer served as Controller for the Americans, as well as VP and Worldwide Sales Controller, and then finally Corporate Controller before landing the CFO role. Earlier this week, Oppenheimer made headlines when he joined the board of Goldman Sachs. In his role at Apple, he has been cited as one of the best-compensated CFOs in the world.
Oppenheimer’s replacement has a much shorter tenure at Apple, having just joined the company in March of last year, after occupying CFO roles at both Xerox and Nokia Siemens Networks. Maestri started his career at GM, and eventually rose to the rank of CFO of the carmaker’s entire European operation. When news broke that Apple had hired Maestri away from Xerox (the move was revealed last January but took until March to officially complete), analyst Ben Reitzes of Barclays Capital suggested that the company might be planning a succession strategy for the CFO role, and it looks like that was indeed the case.
Maestri is also known as a buyback expert, and has likely helped Apple execute on its ongoing plan of moving shares from the hands of speculators over to more stable long-term investors. Apple CEO Tim Cook had strong words for investors looking for short-term gain, or high returns at the expense of other considerations at the company’s most recent annual general shareholder meeting.