Apple announces finance chief Peter Oppenheimer to retire at the end of September


Apple has just announced via a media release that its longtime finance chief Peter Oppenheimer will be retiring at the end of September, ending a roughly 18-year career at the technology giant. The company called it a planned transition so he could take time for himself and his family.

In naming his successor, Apple said Luca Maestri, 50, will gradually take over as CFO in June to allow for a smooth transition. As per the release, during Oppenheimer’s CFO time, Apple’s revenue “grew from $8 to $171 billion”.

It’s interesting that Maestri left Nokia in February 2011, the same month the struggling Finnish cellphone giant announced they were adopting Microsoft’s Windows Phone. He joined Apple in March of last year..

Tim Cook revealed they instantly knew Luca would become Peter’s successor after meeting him during the company’s search for a corporate controller. “His contributions to Apple have already been significant in his time with us and he has quickly gained respect from his colleagues throughout the company,” said Cook.

As for Oppenheimer, 51, Cook praised his many contributions to Apple during his 18-year tenure with the company:

Peter has served as our CFO for the past decade as Apple’s annual revenue grew from $8 billion to $171 billion and our global footprint expanded dramatically. His guidance, leadership and expertise have been instrumental to Apple’s success, not only as our CFO but also in many areas beyond finance, as he frequently took on additional activities to assist across the company. His contributions and integrity as our CFO create a new benchmark for public company CFOs.

Peter is also a dear friend I always knew I could count on. Although I am sad to see him leave, I am happy he is taking time for himself and his family. As all of us who know him would have expected, he has created a professional succession plan to ensure Apple doesn’t miss a beat.

As for Oppenheimer himself, he loves Apple but “for quite some time” has wanted to “live on the central coast of California” and spend more time with his family and sons.

In a bit of personal revelation, the executive said he wanted to get more involved at Cal Poly, his alma mater, travel to interesting parts of the world and finish the requirements for his pilot’s license – “something I have wanted to do for years.” 

As Apple’s annual revenue has grown more than twentyfold during his time as CFO, Peter has overseen development of a disciplined global financial strategy, robust systems and procedures, and a very strong balance sheet. Under his leadership, Apple has built a world-class finance team. Peter has managed facilities expansion including the addition of four data centers and Apple’s new campus in Cupertino, all of which will be powered by renewable energy.

As Apple’s CFO, Oppenheimer manages the controller, treasury, investor relations, tax, information systems, internal audit, facilities, corporate development and human resources functions, reporting directly to CEO Tim Cook.

He also serves on Apple’s executive committee.

According to his Apple bio page, the executive received his Bachelor’s degree from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in Agricultural Business and an M.B.A. from Santa Clara University, both with honors.

He is also a member of the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity.

Oppenheimer joined Apple in 1996 as controller for the Americas. A year later, he became vice president and Worldwide Sales controller and then a corporate controller. Oppenheimer became chief financial officer in 2004, after Fred D. Anderson retired.

Prior to joining Apple, he was Chief Financial Officer of the Claims Services Division for Automatic Data Processing. And before that gig, Oppenheimer had spent six years in the Information Technology Consulting Practice with Coopers and Lybrand, where he managed financial and systems engagements for clients in the insurance, telecommunications, transportation and banking industries.

Prior to joining Apple, Luca was CFO at both Nokia Siemens Networks and Xerox.

Since joining Apple in March 2013, Luca has managed most of Apple’s financial functions and “done an excellent job leading them”, while also working closely with Apple’s senior leadership.

According to Apple:

Luca began his career with General Motors and spent 20 years in finance and operating roles in the Americas, Asia Pacific and Europe. While at GM, Luca had many significant assignments building and operating the business. He was part of the team that established GM’s regional operations in Asia Pacific, including manufacturing investments in China and Thailand. He was later CFO of the team that restructured operations in Brazil and Argentina and returned the region to profitability. His last role at GM was CFO for all of GM’s operations in Europe, which spanned over 45 countries with annual net revenue of approximately $40 billion.

Luca has an exceptionally broad international background, with time spent living and working in Italy, Poland, Ireland, Switzerland, Singapore, Thailand, Brazil and Germany, as well as the U.S.

Luca graduated from Luiss University in Rome with a bachelor’s degree in Economics and received a master’s degree in Science of Management from Boston University.

Yesterday, the investment banking firm Goldman Sachs announced that Oppenheimer has joined its board as an independent director. His 25 years of broad experience across important industries “will add a valuable perspective” to the board, the investment banking firm said.