Bloomberg: Apple Said to Have Approached Blackstone’s Laurence Tosi to Becoming CFO

C-level executive intrigue. Bloomberg reports:

Apple Inc. approached Blackstone Group LP Chief Financial Officer Laurence Tosi to become its finance chief, three people with knowledge of the matter said.

Tosi told Blackstone CEO Stephen Schwarzman that he plans to stay, rather than join Apple, said two of the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks were private. Steve Dowling, a spokesman for Apple, said the company is “not conducting a CFO search.” Current CFO Peter Oppenheimer “loves the company and is extremely happy in his role,” Dowling said.

Why might Apple have approached Tosi? Maybe they’re getting ready to spend some dough:

Tosi, 42, would have brought Apple more experience with corporate acquisitions. Blackstone, the world’s largest private equity firm, made more than 30 purchases last year, according to Bloomberg data. Apple made four, the data show.

Remember when Apple was on the cusp of acquiring AdMob, but the deal somehow got blown at the last moment and Google was able to swoop in and snatch them? The explanation I’ve heard is that the negotiations between Apple and AdMob were slowed down because they had to go through Steve Jobs — and he’s busy. So I suspect Apple is looking for someone specifically to focus on M&A.

Thursday, 6 January 2011