Update: Apple CFO Oppenheimer to Retire in September; Maestri Named Successor

Luca Maestri, Apple’s next CFO beginning June 2014

As expected, Apple named Luca Maestri the next CFO to succeed Peter Oppenheimer, who announced his retirement at the end of September 2014. During Oppenheimer’s 18 years at the tech giant, Apple’s revenue has swelled from $8 billion to $171 billion, the announcement noted. Oppenheimer was also able to return $50 billion to the company’s shareholders. Oppenheimer intends to spend time with his family, earn his pilot’s license, travel the world, and become more actively involved at California Polytechnic State University.According to Anil Doraldla, Oppenheimer’s legacy “could personify Apple’s strong growth phase.” Following Oppenheimer’s retirement, the company continues to transition into a more mature phase. Stocks were up 0.6 percent following the announcement.

A New Era, A New CFO

Luca Maestri will move into the position beginning June 2014, ensuring a smooth transition of authority. Maestri’s road to Apple’s next CFO is an unusual one. When Maestri announced his retirement as CFO of Xerox Corp. in 2013, it was an announcement that shocked the financial world. Rarely do C-level executives take the risk to slide down the corporate totem pole. Following Tuesday’s announcement, it appears the risk has paid off.

Maestri’s experience is his most valuable asset as the upcoming CFO. Maestri spent two decades working up the ladder at General Motors, eventually leaving the company as the CFO of European operations. Immediately after leaving GM, Maestri eyed technology firms, joining Nokia Siemens Networks before becoming CFO at Xerox.

At General Motors, Maestri oversaw operations during the 2008 financial crisis, which impacted US and European operations alike. Maestri was involved during the company’s major restructuring, overseeing negotiations and creating a strategy to boost flagging sales in Europe. Furthermore, though at Xerox for less than two years, Maestri’s influence can be seen in the printer and copier company’s expanded business services.

According to Tim Cook, when Apple hired Maestri as its corporate controller, C-level executives already new that Luca would become the natural successor to Oppenheimer. With 25 years of experience in financial management around the globe, Maestri provided the experience, expertise, and goals needed to help keep Apple atop the technology tree.