Apple CFO’s departure signals changing of guard: Peter Oppenheimer won’t be the last Jobs-era hyper-growth author to move on

“Apple will soon find itself having to replace the man who oversaw the company’s finances through its most prosperous years,” Shaun Nichols writes for The Register. “Peter Oppenheimer has announced his intent to step down from the company by September, vacating his role as Chief Financial Officer to Luca Maestri and riding off into the sunset to take a board position at Goldman Sachs”

“Aside from freeing up more time to earn his pilot’s license, Oppenheimer is vacating a vital role at Apple, one which has helped the company through some of its most turbulent and successful times,” Nichols writes. “The company would blossom under Jobs and Oppenheimer would rise to become chief bean counter, assuming the CFO role in 2004. According to the company’s own records, yearly revenue has grown twentyfold. Oppenheimer himself has been credited with helping to maximise those profits by crafting a clever (if not controversial) tax strategy for Apple.”

“Oppenheimer’s retirement could signal the beginning of a new chapter for Apple and its leadership,” Nichols writes. “While the departure of Oppenheimer will likely been seen as a footnote in the grand scheme of things, it may well also signal a larger shift on the way for one of the world’s biggest brands.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Apple’s incoming CFO Maestri to oversee $160 billion mountain of cash – March 4, 2014
Who is Luca Maestri, Apple’s next CFO? – March 4, 2014
Apple CFO transition may matter more than you think – March 4, 2014
Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer to retire at the end of September – March 4, 2014
Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer joins Goldman Sachs board of directors – March 3, 2014
Don’t be surprised if Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer announces his retirement at Friday’s shareholder meeting – February 27, 2014
Apple’ Peter Oppenheimer top CFO earner in fiscal 2012 with $68.6 million package – May 8, 2013


  1. I rather like your characterisation of CEO Tim Cook. Apple has been too soft of late. Zen values and sustainability don’t cut it any more. Culture, my ass. What counts is unit sales. Cook is all over that. Sure, he’s purring about de rigueur concepts, for the benefit of gentle observers; but the man knows one fine thing, and that’s how to make money in a cutthroat sea full of pirates, by scuttling them before they know what hit them. I can hardly wait for his second act, disemboweling the competition and making sausages.

    1. You nailed it.

      Unit sales over Zen values while trumping software superiority is sadly the current course of Apple.

      Navigating with a uninspiring iOS7 compass Steve’s executive team thrown overboard or jumping ship before security reaches your cabin.

      Wearing a liberal activist label on your sleeve is something Steve had the good business sense to keep to himself. While I applauded all his efforts at making computers and the world greener it was handled in a subtle and responsible way.

      T.C. getting involved in hot button issues like the controversial bill in Arizona and now green initiatives is troubling, as evidenced by lashing out at accountability critics and telling them to leave the stock!


  2. It seems to me that Cook’s defining characteristic is the lack of taste and obsessive dumbing down of software to the extent that usability and the ability to manipulate and edit metadata have been sacrificed at the altar of tastelessness.

    I don’t think he uses the software himself nor cares about software possessing adequate quality being the manufacturing maven that he is. iOS 7 is a complete wasteland of flat unusable icons that are garish, tasteless and uninformative, yet he takes no steps to correct the more egregious missteps of Ive’s design disaster.

    The iBooks app for the Mac has completely screwed up the ability to manage books by renaming them, giving them a new cover or any ability to manipulate metadata associated with ePUB or PDF documents.

    The AirPort wireless base stations have lost the ability to monitor bandwidth usage through SNMP tools that were present in previous editions.

    I won’t bother going into the uselessness of Pages, Numbers and Keynote for Mac which have features stripped out because of the requirement to have parity with their iOS cousins. Another dumb move by Cook.

    Cook just doesn’t care about quality any more. He’s more akin to a robot that is entirely focused on manufacturing efficiency to the exclusion of all else, including upholding the traditions of Apple for producing quality software that complement the hardware, the soul of the hardware as it were.

    1. Those dumb moves take years to prepare. You credit the last two years of development to Cook. But Apple couldn’t change that quickly. The roadmap was plotted years ago while Jobs was alive.

      It may not be the Apple you wished for, but you can’t lay it all on Cook.

      You’re right Cook is the force behind Apple’s efficiency. Jobs picked, promoted, and left him in charge because of his traits.

    2. Why did you chose a name (Trevor Phillips) based on a video game character in Grand Theft Auto? Every time I see your post I think of a kid in basement who plays games all day and only comes up to get Pop Tarts and Red Bull.

    3. What a bunch of malarkey.

      Steve Jobs is the one who killed Mac OS 9 and moved Apple to Mac OS X, the OS people screamed and hollered about because it “hid” all the system files, made it difficult for people to change system settings not contained in System Preferences, and generally isolated the user from the underlying UNIX OS.

      Steve Jobs oversaw the release of applications like iMovie, iDVD, iWork, iLife, which created “dumbed down” applications so that people could quickly and easily make movies, documents, etc. without having to deal with all the little minutiae of other, more complex apps.

      Steve Jobs oversaw the development of the iPod OS and iPhone OS, which completely locked the end user out of OS files. In particular, iPhone OS doesn’t allow you to access ANY system files or even see directories.

      So take your rant somewhere else, hypocrite.

      1. You’re just a dumb fuck paper tiger pretend lawyer with no understanding of the underlying technical issues. Why the fuck don’t you shut your dumb fuck trap and write points that address the issues raised by the poster you dumb ass fuck.

        Another dumb fuck taken down a notch.

    4. Well said, three cheers.

      Excellent roundup of nits and needs to be repeated until it sinks into arrogant Apple skulls droning on in the mothership and the knee-jerk defenders that don’t debate specific points and only engage in petty personal attacks.

      That said, not all the fault of T.C. But certainly he has accelerated the pace and decline away from quality SOFTWARE in a quest for what … more money, unit share, Wall St./analyst/media love?

      Now the iOS7 kindergarten design creep is on the website and God forbid the next version of OSX.

      Don’t really care about the next big thing and nagging media question of whether Apple can innovate or not. Leave that to the paid critics. They have already innovated like no other company on the planet Earth with many revolutionary products that every competitor would die for.

      I’m fine with speed bumps, faster, smaller, cheaper (probably not) and better. I’m not fine with stripping visuals to esoteric stick figure design, unreadable type and map roads so light they are totally useless. Not to mention the dumbing down of superior software and legendary functionality.

      A bright course for Apple is simply becoming more and more difficult to discern, day by day … sorry.

  3. ‘Old guard’ – the guy is retiring not leaving because of how Apple has changed.

    People leave companies, people replace them and business goes on…

    Such is the cycle. One thing is guaranteed in business and that is things always change.

    1. Precisely. Oppenheimer replaced Fred Andersen after the options backdating débâcle and wasn’t necessarily instrumental in much of Apple’s current tax shelter and tax avoidance strategies, some of which have been in place since the early 80’s. As usual, the bloggers are trying to mythologize a retiring Apple executive to serve their FUD goals. P.O. was merely a good CFO who did his job well as the steward of an abnormally large cash hoarde.

    2. Unfortunately, every Apple exec who worked under Steve Jobs and now retires, moves on, or leaves Apple for any reason will cause “changing of the guard” articles from now until everyone is dead and buried. As if no one else in the known universe can manage finances of a large company.

      Oppenheimer has done a fantastic job for Apple, but it’s not like he’s not replaceable.

  4. With all the complaining what T.C. and P.O. have done is build the largest tech company in the world. My Mac is the best computer I’ve ever used. My iPhone is the not only the best phone, it is the finest consumer product I own. My iPad 1 is STILL doing just fine after over 4 years of daily use- it still lasts over 10 hours.

    That on an unprecedented golbal scale is is what Apple is doing.

  5. And this is news. Peter is one of the many many baby boomers who will be retiring in the next 10 years. Every Company in the USA will be going through the “changing of the guard”. It has little to do with changes in CEO’s and environment, and lots to do with people who have made enough money and want to get on to the next act in life.

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