Luca Maestri controls the purse strings of the most profitable company in the world, so it’s no wonder why he was just named the most admired CFO in the world.
Apple’s money man won nearly one in four votes among top Fortune 500 CFO’s of the world in Model N’s annual rankings. His company announced last week that it made more profits in the last three months than any company in history.
Apple has today announced that Peter Oppenheimer, its senior vice president and chief financial officer, will retire at the end of September after 18 years with the Cupertino company. Oppenheimer will transition the role of CFO to Luca Maestri, Apple’s current vice president of finance and corporate controller.
Peter Oppenheimer doesn’t get a lot of the spotlight at Apple – unless you’re tuning into a quarterly earnings report – but the Apple CFO plays a huge role in Apple’s profitability and now he’ll be lending his talents to Wall Street by joining Goldman Sachs Board of Directors.
Goldman Sachs announced this morning that Oppenheimer will join the board immediately as an independent director of the firm:
One way to look at the consumerization of IT is as a democratization of workplace technology decisions. Executives and employees alike have become much more sophisticated users of technology. Through iPhones and iPads, they see how well-designed devices, platforms, and apps can create enjoyable and, more importantly, productive user experiences. As a result, they don’t tolerate clunky business systems and slow IT responses as much as they did a few years ago.
Many executives and pundits believe this has already changed the balance of power between the CIO/IT management and the CFO and other executives. A recent Gartner survey found that overall, CFOs are leading IT decision-making more than they were just two years ago. One could even argue that in addition to disrupting industries like music and mobile technology, Apple is subtly disrupting IT and business itself (with some help from other tech and business innovators).
A recent study of finance chiefs at over 200 companies revealed that one in six expect the job of CIO to be gone within five years. More than twice that many (40%) expected that IT will eventually be folded into the finance department. This highlights the impact of trends like BYOD, the consumerization of IT, and the growing importance of cloud services.
As IT departments struggle to deal with an ever-increasing influx of iPhones, iPads, Android devices, and other “consumer” technologies, this raises big questions. Would handing management of IT over to a CFO with limited technical experience help or hinder Apple’s position as a business vendor? Would that drive BYOD programs or inhibit them? Would this ultimately be beneficial to most employees at a company?