March 4, 2014: Peter Oppenheimer, the Apple chief financial officer who presided over a decade of skyrocketing growth, steps down from the company.
After becoming Apple CFO in 2004, Oppenheimer saw the company’s valuation soar from $8.8 billion to $471 billion. Luca Maestri, current Apple senior vice president and chief financial officer, replaced Oppenheimer in this crucial position.
Peter Oppenheimer’s path through Apple
Prior to joining Apple at Steve Jobs’ request, Oppenheimer served as a finance executive at payroll company Automatic Data Processing. He also worked as a technology consultant at Coopers & Lybrand, a precursor to PricewaterhouseCoopers. Oppenheimer replaced Apple’s longtime Chief Financial Officer Fred Anderson, who stepped into the role in March 1996.
Groomed to take over from Anderson, Oppenheimer joined Apple a few months after him in 1996. (Oppenheimer’s initial role: Apple’s senior director of finance and controller.)
Jobs handpicked the two men, who previously worked together at ADP, shortly after his return to Apple.
As CFO, Oppenheimer oversaw a $100 billion share repurchase and dividend scheme. When he retired, analysts hoped the plan would continue, with Maestri building upon his predecessor’s work.
After leaving, Oppenheimer joined the Goldman Sachs board as an independent director. He also said he planned to take more personal time for travel, to earn his pilot’s license, and to help his alma mater, California Polytechnic University.