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Apple finance overlord Oppenheimer: I love Apple, but I gotta get this pilot licence. See ya

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Apple's chief bean counter Peter Oppenheimer – the man who has been a constant during Apple's dark pre-iPod days and amid the meteoric rise since – is to call it a day at the end of September.

The Cupertino finance lord manages all the grey aspects of the colourful tech vendor's biz including treasury, information systems, internal audit, facilities functions, and er, ahem, tax.

Big dog Tim Cook fell over himself in describing the outgoing CFO's "guidance, leadership and expertise" as invaluable, but was glad to see his old mucker "taking time for himself and his family."

"Peter is a dear friend I always knew I could count on," said Cook, who could do with a few friends since former CEO Jobs passed on the baton.

But Paul O'Grady lookalike Cook didn't have the monopoly on the outpouring of grief - Oppenheimer was reaching for the hankies too.

"I love Apple and the people ... [but] for quite some time I have wanted to live on the central coast of California and get more involved at Cal Poly, my alma mater; spend time with my wife and sons; travel to interesting parts of the world; and something I have wanted to do for years - finish the requirements of my pilot's license".

To keep the holiday fund ticking over, Oppenheimer has grabbed a seat on the board of Goldman Sachs, becoming the 13th member. He will serve on the firm's Audit, Risk, Compensation, and Corporate Governance committees.

The current finance and corporate controller Luca Maestri will take over as top abacus stroker in June. Prior to Apple he was CFO at Nokia Siemens Networks and Xerox. ®

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