Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer to Retire at the End of September

Apple PR:

“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,” said Tim Cook, Apple CEO. “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.”

On the surface, sounds like a man who’s ready to cash out. He took the helm as CFO after Fred Anderson took the hit for the stock options backdating scandal retired in 2004, but he’s been at Apple for 18 years — predating the NeXT reunification. He’s only 51, but that’s a long run.

But it’s only fair to recall MG Siegler’s observation back in April when Microsoft CFO Peter Klein retired:

Who is best positioned to know that winter is coming?

The CFO.

Like Oppenheimer, Klein’s stated reason for retiring was to spend more time with his family. By December, Klein must have had enough time with his family, because he took the CFO gig at William Morris. Oppenheimer yesterday took a board seat at Goldman Sachs, but my hunch is he really is just retiring. I doubt we’ll see him take a CFO gig at another company. We’ll see.

Correction, 7p: I scrambled the timeline of the Anderson-Oppenheimer succession. Anderson retired in 2004, on good terms with the company. The options backdating scandal didn’t occur until 2007 (although Anderson and then-chief counsel Nancy Heinen did take the fall for it.)

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

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