Long time Apple employee and current chief financial officer Peter Oppenheimer is scheduled to retire by the end of September. Oppenheimer, who spent 18 years at Apple, will be replaced by the current vice president of finance and corporate controller Luca Maestri. As of June of this year the CFO role at Apple will begin to transition over to Maestri, whom Apple says was brought on for this very reason.

Apple appears to have known about Oppenheimer's retirement for at least a year already, and says that when Maestri was brought on it was with the intention that he would one day take over the CFO position. "When we were recruiting for a corporate controller, we met Luca and knew he would become Peter’s successor," CEO Tim Cook says. "Luca has over 25 years of global experience in senior financial management, including roles as a public company CFO, and I am confident he will be a great CFO at Apple." Maestri has spent more than 20 years at GM along with other important corporate financial positions.

Some have suggested that Maestri has played a major role in Apple's unprecedented and aggressive stock buybacks, a campaign said to include another $30 billion in stock repurchases during 2014.

Apple feels the transition between Peter Oppenheimer and Maestri will be a smooth one, and it likely will, but there is no doubt that this is a major shake up to Apple's core team. As Tim Cook points out, "Apple’s annual revenue grew from $8 billion to $171 billion" and its "global footprint expanded dramatically" during Oppenheimer's tenure in the CFO position. The company is certain the professional succession plan laid out for Maestri will ensure a smooth and successful transition.

Even though he was recently added to the Goldman Sachs board of directors, Oppenheimer says he plans to spend his retirement with his family, traveling and finally getting that pilot license he's always wanted.