Apple Inc. (AAPL) CFO May Announce Retirement At Shareholder Meeting

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s annual shareholders meeting will commence at 12:00 PM EST on Friday, February 28. Forbes contributor Chuck Jones says that Apple’s chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer may announce his retirement at the meeting. Oppenheimer has been CFO at the iPhone maker since 2004. He joined the Cupertino-based company in 1996 as the controller for the Americas.

Will Luca Maestri be Apple’s next CFO?

The departure of a long-time CFO would be a big thing for Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL). But the company might already have been laying the groundwork for the transition. In all earning conference calls before October 2013, the company’s Treasurer Gary Wipfler was the only other executive besides Tim Cook and Oppenheimer.

For the last two earnings calls, Apple’s Corporate Controller Luca Maestri has also been on the calls. Maestri handled questions about the company’s operating margins and expenses during the January 2014 conference call. Luca Maestri has served as chief financial officer at Xerox Corporation (NYSE:XRX). He joined Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in January 2013. Notably, the tech giant has become more aggressive on its stock buybacks since he joined the company.

Oppenheimer has done a great job growing Apple

2005 was the first full year as CFO of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) for Peter Oppenheimer. The company earned only $1.65 billion in net profit on revenues of $13.9 billion during that year. But Apple’s revenues increased 12.3 times to $171 billion in 2013, while earnings swelled about 30 times to $49 billion. Oppenheimer has served Apple for the past 10 years, and has done a great job growing the company.

He was awarded 100,000 shares in September 2010 that will fully vest in September this year. Another 75,000 shares awarded to him in November 2011 fully vesting in March 2016. It’s entirely possible that Oppenheimer waits until September, or remains with the company to help with the transition to obtain his 100,000 shares or about $52.8 million. It’s still unclear whether Maestri has started handling more of the chores or whether he has been meeting with the institutional shareholders. If he has started handling more responsibilities, it won’t surprise analysts and investors when Maestri takes over as the next CFO.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares ticked up 0.04% to $527.90 in pre-market trading Friday.

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