Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Video: Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer meets the press

October 18, 2013: 7:05 AM ET

A rare look at a key Apple executive who usually stays well out of the limelight.

FORTUNE -- I can't swear that Peter Oppenheimer's nine and a half minutes before the cameras in the attached YouTube video is the first televised press conference of his 17-year career at Apple (AAPL), but I've never seen him do another.

Apple's chief financial officer -- the man in charge of the company's umpteen billions -- is usually heard but not seen reading the quarterly results and playing second fiddle to Tim Cook during Apple's telephone calls with analysts.

But there he was Wednesday, the day after the Cupertino city council unanimously approved the company's plans for its new "spaceship" headquarters, fielding questions on camera from the filthy press.

There was a bit of news in his presentation. He offered some detail about the building's energy efficiency ("there won't be one atom of carbon emitted into the atmosphere"). And he confirmed that Apple will still need the old headquarters at One Infinite Loop to house a company that is, in Steve Jobs' words, "growing like a weed."

But mostly it was a demonstration of how a disciplined Apple senior executive stays calmly on script, repeating well-tested phrases ("we can't wait to get started" ... "we're thrilled" ... "excited" ... "humbled" ... "the greatest team in the industry" ... "collaborative culture" ... "surprise and delight our customers" ... "innovate for decades to come") even under hostile questioning.

Best moment: Oppenheimer's reaction to the persistent reporter who wanted to know if the building could be subdivided -- perhaps into condos? -- after Apple is long gone.

Oppenheimer's bit starts at the 4:04 mark.

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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