Apple's CFO to step down

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Apple's CFO to step down
Peter Oppenheimer

To hand baton in September.

Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer will retire and hand the reins to Luca Maestri in September, transferring financial stewardship of the world's largest technology company to the Italian-born corporate controller.

Oppenheimer, 51, had been CFO since 2004 and was the architect behind a US$100 billion capital return program established a year ago in response to demands the company do more with its ballooning cash hoard. Maestri is not expected to pursue radical changes to the iPhone maker's strategy on that front.

Apple's shares were up 0.6 percent at US$530.87 following the announcement.

Maestri, a 50-year-old born in Rome, takes over as the smartphone maker grapples with slowing revenue growth, increasingly saturated or commoditised markets and intensifying competition from the likes of Samsung.

The company is also under increasing pressure to come up with the next big thing. Some investors are betting that CEO Tim Cook will finally unveil a revolutionary new product this year, breaking a dry spell of several years during which it stuck mainly to iterations of the iPhone and iPad.

The executive joined Apple from Xerox in 2013. He spent 20 years at General Motors where he worked as CFO of several units including GM Europe. Before joining Xerox, he was CFO of Nokia Siemens Networks.

"While we view Mr Oppenheimer's retirement as a loss to the company, we expect the transition to be fairly seamless," Wells Fargo Securities analyst Maynard Um said in a research note.

Oppenheimer, who joined Apple in 1996, will start handing over in June to Maestri. Named to the board of Goldman Sachs this week, he said he would use some of his free time to complete his pilot's license.

"When we were recruiting for a corporate controller, we met Luca and knew he would become Peter's successor," Cook said.

Cook noted that Apple's revenue had risen to US$171 billion from $8 billion during Oppenheimer's tenure as CFO.

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