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Apple CFO to retire in September after he cashes in $53m stock award

Apple CFO to retire in September after he cashes in $53m stock award

Peter Oppenheimer, 18-year veteran of the company, will be replaced by Luca Maestri, 2013 hire, as chief financial officer

Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer. (Image: Apple) Apple's chief financial officer, Peter Oppenheimer, a long-familiar voice to Wall Street on the company's quarterly earnings calls, will retire at the end of September, the firm announced today.

Luca Maestri, 46, currently Apple's vice president of finance and corporate controller, and who joined the Cupertino, Calif. company in March 2013 after years with General Motors, Nokia and Xerox, will succeed Oppenheimer as CFO.

Oppenheimer, 51, has been at Apple since 1996, a year before Steve Jobs regained the reins of the company he co-founded with Steve Wozniak in 1976. Oppenheimer has been the CFO since 2004.

"Although I am sad to see him leave, I am happy he is taking time for himself and his family," said CEO Tim Cook of Oppenheimer in a statement.

"For quite some time, I have wanted to live on the central coast of California and get more involved at Cal Poly, my alma mater; spend more time with my wife and sons; travel to interesting parts of the world; and something I have wanted to do for years - finish the requirements for my pilot's license," Oppenheimer said in the same statement.

Cal Poly, formally California Polytechnic State University, is located in San Luis Obispo, Calif.

Oppenheimer is probably best known to those outside Apple as a voice on the other end of Apple's quarterly conference calls with Wall Street analysts and reporters, when the company discusses its most-recent financials and provides guidance to analysts for the next reporting period.

In its statement, Apple touted the growth during Oppenheimer's time as the CFO, a nearly-10-year stretch when the company's annual revenue increased from $8 billion to $171 billion, a 21-fold increase.

Cook said Maestri's impending promotion was part of the firm's succession plan. Oppenheimer will transfer his CFO duties to Maestri in June, and the remainder of his responsibilities over his final three months.

Oppenheimer will retire at the end of September quarter, which also marks the end of Apple's 2014 fiscal year.

According to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Oppenheimer controls approximately 4,900 shares of Apple stock, with a paper worth at Tuesday's price of about $2.6 million. His last major transaction was in July 2013, when he sold just over 37,000 shares worth $16.4 million.

Oppenheimer is leaving 75,000 shares of Apple behind that were to vest in March 2016 if he was still at the company. At today's price, those shares would be worth nearly $40 million.

But by sticking around through the end of September, he will collect 100,000 shares that vest September 21, Apple's December proxy filing stated. Those shares were valued at $53 million at today's price.

The 100,000 shares were an award Oppenheimer received in September 2010; the 75,000 shares he will not receive were part of an October 2011 award, one of several made to Apple's top executives after Steve Jobs' death that month and the August promotion of Cook to CEO.

Gregg Keizer covers Microsoft, security issues, Apple, Web browsers and general technology breaking news for Computerworld. Follow Gregg on Twitter at @gkeizer, on Google+ or subscribe to Gregg's RSS feed. His email address is gkeizer@computerworld.com.

See more by Gregg Keizer on Computerworld.com.

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