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Wednesday, April 23, 2014, 04:19 pm PT (07:19 pm ET)

Tim Cook: Angela Ahrendts to join Apple next week, thanks outgoing CFO Peter Oppenheimer

During Apple's quarterly earnings conference call, chief executive Tim Cook said he looked forward to welcoming Angela Ahrendts as the company's new retail and online leader next week, while offering public thanks to outgoing chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer.

Angela Ahrendts Apple retail chief


Apple's retail operation finally gets a leader



Last week, a report by the The Guardian speculated that Ahrendts wouldn't leave her current position as chief executive of Burberry until June.

Apple had previously only said that Ahrendts would join the company this spring. However, after reviewing Apple's retail operations, including new stores in Brazil and Turkey that expanded the company's retail presence across 15 countries, Cook noted that he looked forward to welcoming Ahrendts, "who will be joining Apple's executive team next week."

Apple has been without a dedicated retail leader since the departure of John Browett, who was fired in October 2012 after less than a year on the job. For the last year and a half, Apple's retail group has been reporting directly to Cook himself.

After reviewing Apple's $100 billion in blockbuster sales over just the last two quarters, Cook added, "as always, I'd like to thank our talented employees who make these results possible through the creativity and passion they bring to their work every day.

"And I'd like to thank our hundreds of millions of customers for their loyalty and enthusiasm, and for continually inspiring us to surprise and delight them," Cook added.

Cook thanks Oppenheimer at CFO's retirement



Following a segment where Apple's vice president of Finance and corporate controller Luca Maestri outlined details of the company's business, Cook drew attention to the coming retirement of Oppenheimer, previously announced in early March.

Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer


Maestri will succeed Oppenheimer as Apple's chief financial officer in September, following a transition through the summer.

Cook said prior to taking analysts' questions that he "would like to take a minute to talk about my dear friend and colleague, Peter Oppenheimer," who he noted "has been Apple's CFO for ten years."

Cook noted that Apple is now twenty times the size it was when Oppenheimer took the CFO job, adding that "his expertise, leadership and incredibly hard work have been instrumental to the company's success.

"I want to thank him very publicly for his contributions to Apple, from the very bottom of my heart I wish him all the best at his approaching retirement at the end of September.

"And I'd also like to recognize him," Cook added, "that he has never missed guidance as CFO, which must be an all time record for a CFO."

Cook then noted, "we are really happy and fortunate to have someone with Luca's talent on board to replace Peter. He has over five years of experience building and leading finance teams within companies, and has an exceptionally broad international background, which you might be able to detect from his accent.

Apple corporate controller Luca Maestri


"He's been managing most of Apple's financial operations since coming on board last year and has done an outstanding job. I'm looking forward to working with Luca even closer as Apple's next CFO."

A variety of Apple's media critics jumped to tweet out that Oppenheimer never missed guidance only because he had "sandbagged" Apple's guidance for years, perpetuating the idea that under Steve Jobs, there was a vast conspiracy to mislead the market into thinking that it would consistently make less money each quarter than it was subsequently able to earn, rather than the simpler explanation that Apple was conservative in predicting just how successful it could be as the company's annual revenues grew from $8 billion to $171 billion over the past decade.