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Apple treasurer, keeper of $200 billion, retires after 35 years

Apple Inc.’s corporate treasurer and keeper of its nearly $200 billion money pile has retired from the iPhone maker after about 35 years, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Gary Wipfler stepped down in recent weeks, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the move hasn’t been announced. He oversaw the iPhone maker’s cash balance, investments and capital-return programs, and he was once a fixture of Apple’s quarterly earnings calls. The 62-year-old executive reported to Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri until his retirement.

An Apple spokesman declined to comment.

Wipfler’s retirement caps a career that spanned several CEOs — even predating Steve Jobs’s return to the company in 1997, when Apple was famously on the brink of bankruptcy. Wipfler also helped oversee Braeburn Capital, Apple’s Reno, Nevada-based subsidiary that manages its assets. Wipfler also was involved with the company’s racial-justice and affordable-housing efforts.

Apple changed its cash strategy when Tim Cook took over as chief executive officer in 2011. He devoted more of the company’s money to share buybacks and dividend programs, while steering clear of big-ticket acquisitions. Its largest deal to date is still the $3 billion takeover of Beats Electronics and Beats Music in 2014.

The Cupertino, California-based company ended last quarter with $194 billion in cash and marketable securities. But Apple has been working to reduce its balance as the iPhone maker tries to reach net cash neutral status, meaning the company will have an equal amount of cash and debt. Bloomberg

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