Luca Maestri officially succeeds Peter Oppenheimer as Apple’s CFO and Senior VP

luca-maestri

In an SEC filing today, Apple announced that Luca Maestri has officially transitioned into the Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President role. His first official day on the job was yesterday, May 29th. Maestri is not yet on Apple’s executive biographies page, but an official profile will likely go live in the coming days. Apple says that Maestri’s previous job as Principle Accounting Officer will be folded into his CFO role.

Maestri, previously Corporate Controller and a Vice President at Apple, replaces long-time CFO Peter Oppenehimer. The transition was announced by Apple earlier this year. Oppenheimer will shift his remaining responsibilities to Maestri over the course of the next few months and completely retire from Apple at the end of September of this year. As part of his promotion, Maestri will now receive an annual salary of $1 million and new stock-based payment packages:

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Verizon CFO talks iPhone: Free iPhone gains, incentivizing employees to sell lower subsidy devices & Share Everything plans

verizon-iphoneVerizon CFO Fran Shammo spoke at the Duetsche Bank Annual Media, Internet & Telecom conference this morning, where he was asked a few questions related to the iPhone. Verizon reported its fourth quarter 2012 earnings last month with 9.8 million smartphone activations—a record 6.2 million of which were iPhone. We knew about half, or 3.1 million, of those iPhone sales were driven by the first full quarter with the iPhone 5, but today Shammo talked about just how important getting the free iPhone 4 was during the quarter:

But this past fourth quarter you had a couple — you had really one thing happen that never happened before, especially with Verizon Wireless, and that was for the first time ever, because of the iPhone 5 launch, we had the 4 at free. So it was the first time ever you could get a free iPhone on the

Verizon Wireless network. So that produced a lot of volume for us. We had a lot of new customers come into Verizon who took that free phone, and that was great for us because again if you think about — we sold a lot of LTE product in the fourth quarter. We sold a lot of 3G product from the iPhone products in the fourth quarter.

But that is key for us, because if you think about our two networks it is important for me as I migrate people into the 4G network I still have this very large 3G network that operates very efficiently. We are not investing any more capital in that network other than to keep it up and running, so no more coverage capital, no more capacity capital. If I can keep that network up and running that just generates more contribution margins for us. So it is critical for us to balance that. But, again, I think you had one point in time where you had a free phone, a free Apple phone that never happened before with us and that generated a lot of volume.

While noting that 53 percent of the carrier’s smartphone activations were iPhones in 2012, Shammo was asked about the opportunity to incentivize employees to sell non-Apple devices that would also come with lower subsidies for Verizon:

The answer is, no, we don’t and it is critical that we don’t do that. The reason for that is because what is more important for us is when a customer walks into a store that customer walks out with a phone that they will be happy with and not return under our 30-day guarantee. Because the worst thing that can happen for us is for me to incentivise a salesperson to get you into a phone that you walk out the door with thinking you are going to like and in three days you come back because you don’t like it. Therefore, now I’ve just subsidized two smartphones because that phone you used I can’t resell as a new phone.

You can read more from Shammo’s presentation and where he discusses the growth of Share Everything plans, tablets, and more here.

Verizon CFO says unlimited is ‘going by the wayside’, many customers embrace Share Everything

Verizon Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo told attendees at a Goldman Sachs investor conference in New York today that unlimited data plans are no longer relevant and the carrier’s Share Everything plan is doing well.

“We are surprised on shared from many different aspects,” said Shammo, as first reported by CNET. “…More people are going to shared than we actually anticipated. And the thing that really surprised us is we have a lot of people coming off unlimited to go to shared.”

Verizon’s Share Everything plan launched in June and allows users to, well, share data with up to 10 devices through a single account. The carrier stopped offering unlimited data to new customers last year, due to growing smartphone usage clogging the carrier’s pipelines; and with the standard now at 4G LTE, Verizon is likely trying to capitalize on every bit of data funneled through its network.

Unlimited data customers are flocking to Share Everything, Shammo suggested, because many of them realize they don’t consume much data. He also noted customers have added more devices than expected.

“Unlimited is just a word, it doesn’t really mean anything,” Shammo contended. “So that whole unlimited thing I think is going by the wayside and they see the benefit of going to the shared. “

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Sprint CEO reveals he will have to change guidance for the ‘rumored device’

Clearly, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse knows (whether or not) he’s getting the iPhone in a few weeks. But he’s obviously sworn to secrecy by Apple.

The problem is that he has to tell investors how he’s going to come up with all of the additional money and subscribers that will come with getting the iPhone and offering it on unlimited data plans.  When asked about the “rumored device” he said,

“If we get it–if–we may have to adjust our guidance for that,”

Last week, Sprint CFO Joe Euteneuer did the same dance, saying that Sprint’s network could handle the iPhone, not that it was getting it.

It will indeed be interesting to see how Sprint’s network can handle the iPhone, especially with unlimited plans.

In other ‘News’, Al Gore mentioned that Apple would be releasing new iPhones next month.

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‘Apple is only scratching the surface in China’ with 6X growth and $3.8B quarter?


Apple’s beautiful Bejing Retail Store

Apple felt incredibly bullish on China in today’s conference call, rattling off numbers that even Tim Cook admitted they wouldn’t have believed if they had been told a year ago.  How big is China for Apple?

In the year ago quarter, Apple counted $630 Million in revenues from China.  Today, Apple grew that by a factor of six to $3.8B of the total $28+B of their total revenues for the quarter.  That’s 13.3% of Apple’s total business by revenue which now comes from China.

To put that in perspective, $3.8B would have been over two-thirds of Apple’s 2007 (iPhone release) same quarter revenue and more than Apple’s whole global revenue for June ’05.

But ‘we’re only scratching the surface’.

Cook talked again about pre-paid phones (which are dominant in China) and a deal with the 600M-user China Mobile which is said to be in the wings.  Apple is also said to be exploring a cheaper iPhone offering which would appeal to a much broader swath of the Chinese market (Indian too).  This comes against a backdrop of Google Chairmen Eric Schmidt who is also bullish on Asia for Android.

Apple is also being aggressive in their China retail stores, choosing to open larger flagship stores which take more time to build.  CFO Peter Oppenheimer mentioned that the Hong Kong Flagship store at the IFC would be opening this quarter.  But Apple has an order of magnitude more stores opening up across China.  Apple now sells through four stores.  They have over 30 planned just for the next year.

If Apple’s growth in China stays on the current pace, which ‘scratching the surface’ seems to at least partially imply, China will account for over $20B in revenue at this time next year – which could start approach Apple’s US revenues even if Apple continues to grow globally as it has.

Below is an edited transcript of Cook’s remarks on China from Macworld: Read more