Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer handing over reins to Luca Maestri

March 4
EXECUTIVES
Apple CFO retiring; successor named

Apple’s chief financial officer, Peter Oppenheimer, will retire and hand the reins to Luca ­Maestri in September, transferring financial stewardship of the world’s largest technology company to the Italian-born corporate controller.

Oppenheimer, 51, has been CFO since 2004 and was the architect behind a $100 billion capital-return program established a year ago in response to demands that the company do more with its ballooning cash hoard. Maestri is not expected to pursue radical changes to the iPhone maker’s strategy on that front.

Maestri, a 50-year-old born in Rome, joined Apple from Xerox in 2013. He spent 20 years at General Motors, where he worked as CFO of several units including GM Europe.

Oppenheimer, who joined Apple in 1996, was named to the board of Goldman Sachs Group on Monday. Apple chief executive Tim Cook noted that Apple’s revenue had risen to $171 billion from $8 billion during Oppenheimer’s tenure as CFO.

— Reuters

AUTOMOTIVE
GM won’t be harmed by recall, CEO says

General Motors chief executive Mary Barra told employees that the recall of 1.6 million cars over an ignition-switch defect linked to 13 deaths in crashes won’t harm the company’s reputation.

GM, the largest U.S. automaker, “has acted without hesitation” to address the recall in the past few weeks, Barra said in a note Tuesday on a Web site for employees of the Detroit-based company. “We have much more work ahead of us.”

Barra said that she’s leading a group of senior executives monitoring progress on the recall. GM also has started an internal probe to provide an “unvarnished report on what happened,” she said.

U.S. regulators are investigating why it took GM years to recall the eight affected models, including 2005-2007 versions of the Chevrolet Cobalt, after learning about defects related to the ignition switch.

The company said key rings that are too heavy or jarring can cause the switches to slip out of the run position, causing the engines to shut off and a crash-sensing algorithm to misfire in a way that deactivates air bags.

“Our company’s reputation won’t be determined by the recall itself, but by how we address the problem going forward,” Barra said.

— Bloomberg News

ALSO IN BUSINESS

Former NAACP president Benjamin Jealous, just months after stepping down as head of the nation’s largest civil rights organization, is changing his career from an East Coast political activist to a West Coast venture capitalist, a switch he hopes will help further his goal of growing opportunities for blacks and Latinos in the booming tech economy. Jealous, 41, will be joining entrepreneurs Mitchell Kapor and Freada Kapor Klein at their venture capital investment firm that backs information technology start-ups.

United Airlines is getting tough on passengers with oversized carry-on bags. The Chicago-based airline has e-mailed its frequent fliers, reminding them of its rules on carry-on size. It also has installed new bag sizers, located near security checkpoints. As of Saturday, employees contracted by the airline are sending passengers whose bag exceeds the dimensions for carry-ons back to the ticket counter, where they check the bag and pay a $25 fee. Airlines have traditionally asked people with oversized carry-on bags to check them at the gate but waived the $25 fee at that point.

Yahoo will stop letting consumers access its various online services, including Fantasy Sports and photo-sharing site Flickr, by signing in with their Facebook or Google credentials. The change, which will be rolled out gradually according to a Yahoo spokeswoman, will require users to register for a Yahoo ID to use any of the Internet portal’s services. The move marks the latest change to Yahoo by chief executive Marissa Mayer, who is striving to spark fresh interest in the company’s Web products and to revive its stagnant revenue.

— From news services

COMING TODAY

10 a.m.: ISM service sector index for February.

10:30 a.m.: Treasury Secretary Jack Lew testifies at a Senate Finance Committee hearing on the budget proposal.

2 p.m.: Federal Reserve releases “beige book.”

Earnings: Revlon.

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