Apple appoints Roman moneyman

Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer has decided to retire and hand over the keys of Apple’s vast treasure house to Luca Maestri in September.

It is the first time since the days of the Roman empire that an Italian has been entrusted with such a vast fortune but fortunately with a name like Maestri he should be able to teach Apple a thing or two.

The 50-year-old was born in Rome which is quite appropriate for someone who will have a high office in a religious cult. It is a time when Apple is at a crossroads with pressure to put its $160 billion hoard to better use.

Rivals Google and Facebook shell out tens of billions of dollars snapping up cutting-edge tech companies like Nest and WhatsApp which guarantees their future. Apple has so far not done much at all lately.

Barclays analyst Ben Reitzes told Reuters that Maestri is assuming this role at an interesting time – when Apple is in the midst of launching more services and likely needs to convince investors that it has more consistent revenue streams in a commoditizing smart phone market.

That said, Maestri is believed to support consistent plans for capital return and thoughtful, achievable guidance. In other words, keep the Pax Romana

Oppenheimer, 51, had been CFO since 2004 and was the architect behind a $100 billion capital return program established a year ago in response to demands the company do more with its ballooning cash hoard.

He joined Apple from Xerox in 2013. He spent 20 years at General Motors where he worked as CFO of several units including GM Europe. Before joining Xerox, he was CFO of network equipment maker Nokia Siemens Networks.