Apple Adjustments: Executive Departures and New Responsibilities
Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) executive team welcomed some new members and also said goodbye to some well-known faces recently. While the senior position shifts were expected after previously announced retirement plans, there were also some structural changes that are the direct result of Apple’s recently confirmed $3 billion acquisition of Beats Electronics. Here’s the latest on the recent employee shifts and corporate restructuring at the Cupertino-based company.
Perhaps the most important employee change to occur recently is the official appointment of Luca Maestri as the company’s new chief financial officer, or CFO, on May 29. Maestri replaced Peter Oppenheimer, who has been the CFO of Apple over the past ten years. Apple formally announced the change in CFOs in an 8-K regulatory filing made with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 30. According to the filing, Maestri will receive an annual salary of $1 million and was awarded 6,337 restricted stock units as part of his appointment. The RSUs are scheduled to vest a various times over the next four years.
The appointment of Maestri comes as no surprise, since Apple announced the plans for the transition in March of this year. As noted by Apple, “Mr. Oppenheimer will transition the balance of his responsibilities over the summer until his planned retirement at the end of September.” Oppenheimer’s retirement will come after eighteen years with Apple. On the other hand, Maestri is relatively new to Apple after joining the company in March 2013. However, as noted by CEO Tim Cook, “His contributions to Apple have already been significant in his time with us and he has quickly gained respect from his colleagues throughout the company.”
Katie Cotton — another longtime Apple employee — also left her position as vice president for worldwide communications this week, reports Re/Code. Like Oppenheimer, Cotton had been at the company for 18 years and is credited with cultivating Apple’s notoriously tightlipped approach to the press. During that time, Cotton worked closely with legendary Apple CEO Steve Jobs and oversaw the announcements of some of the company’s most iconic products, including the iPod, iPhone, and iPad.
Although Cotton’s retirement plans were revealed earlier this month via a statement released to the press, it was not known exactly when she planned to leave until Re/Code’s exclusive story on Friday. Although some journalists that cover the tech industry resented Cotton’s hard-nosed approach to the press, there is no question that some of Apple’s most successful product releases occurred under her watch. “This is hard for me,” Cotton told Re/Code. “Apple is a part of my heart and soul.”
“Katie has given her all to this company for over 18 years,” said Apple in a statement given to the San Jose Mercury News. “She has wanted to spend time with her children for some time now. We are really going to miss her.” Apple has yet to confirm who will be replacing Cotton; although Apple Insider noted that spokesperson Steve Dowling is rumored to be a likely candidate.
Finally, an internal Apple memo written by CEO Tim Cook revealed how the Beats Electronics business units and employees will fit into Apple’s overall corporate structure. According to the memo obtained by 9to5Mac, the Beats Music division of Beats Electronics will be overseen by Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet software and services. This division will include Jimmy Iovine, Dr. Dre, and their team of employees. On the other hand, the headphones and speakers business will be overseen Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing. As previously announced by Apple, the Beats acquisition is expected to be finalized in the fiscal fourth quarter.
More from Wall St. Cheat Sheet:
- Apple Targets Pandora and Spotify as Amazon Enters the Fray
- Apple’s Eddy Cue: Best Products in 25 Years Are On the Way
- Analysts Raise Apple’s Price Target Over Carriers, Beats, and More
Follow Nathanael on Twitter (@ArnoldEtan_WSCS)