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Wednesday, May 08, 2013, 06:29 am PT (09:29 am ET)

Apple rewards finance chief with $69M pay in 2012, highest of any CFO

Apple Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer was the highest paid among all CFOs in 2012, as the Cupertino company rewarded him immensely for its financial performance.

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Oppenheimer, under whose watch Apple's cash pile grew to roughly $120 billion in 2012, saw a compensation package of $68.6 million for the year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That figure is more than 16 times Apple CEO Tim Cook's compensation for the year.

Stock grants issued to retain top executive talent comprised almost the whole of Oppenheimer's pay for the year, which was the fifth-highest among all S&P 500 executives, including CEOs.The $68.6 million figure far outstripped the $51.7 million earned by tech's next-highest compensated CFO, Oracle's Safra Catz. Google's Patrick Pichette was No. 3 at $38.7 million.

Oppenheimer's financial stewardship has allowed Apple to amass cash holdings in excess of many companies' yearly earnings. By keeping two-thirds of Apple's holdings outside the United States, Oppenheimer saved the company billions in corporate tax payments.

Apple's financial chief also architected the company's recent bond offering, which will allow it to avoid $9.2 billion in taxes by borrowing against its cash position instead of repatriating its overseas holdings. The debt Apple takes on will allow it to fund its $100 billion capital return program, which is at least partially credited with putting a bottom under Apple stock after it briefly dipped below $400 in April.

Oppenheimer assumed the CFO role in 2004, having previously served as corporate controller and vice president and worldwide sales controller.