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Tech News: Apple New Corporate Controller Maestri a 'Perfectionist' Who 'Loves to Compete'

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Plus: BlackBerry outage hits Vodafone.

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This column brings you the most interesting and useful business and financial commentary on the world of technology every day.

Among the headlines today, tech investors learned that Luca Maestri, CFO of Xerox, will be joining Apple.

TechCrunch
Link: Apple Hires New Corporate Controller Luca Maestri Away From Xerox

"Xerox (NYSE:XRX) announced today that Luca Maestri, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, is leaving the company as of February 28, in order to take the position of corporate controller at Apple. The company has already initiated a search for a replacement, and Maestri will stay on through the end of February to assist in the transition.

"Maestri joined Xerox as CFO back in February 2011, after previously serving in the same position at Nokia Siemens Networks, which he had joined in 2008. He had also worked at GM (NYSE:GM)."

We're sure to reading more about Maestri over the coming hours and days. Looking for some quick insight his his personal history? Automotive News published this Q&A with him in 2008:
"General Motors' Luca Maestri has lived in seven countries during his professional life. But wherever he goes, he keeps one piece of Italy close to his heart: the Juventus soccer team. Maestri has been a passionate supporter since he was a small child. An economist by profession, Maestri joined GM in 1988. In 1992, he was appointed chief financial officer for GM Ireland, and two years later moved to Singapore as director of operational analysis for the newly established GM Asia-Pacific headquarters. He was assigned to Thailand in 1997 to oversee the start-up of the company's new manufacturing facility in Rayong.

"He relocated to Detroit in 1999 as director of executive support for GM's CEO and the automotive strategy board. In 2000, he was appointed executive in charge of joint development initiatives with Fiat. And in June 2005, he moved to Brazil, with overall financial
management responsibility for operations in Brazil and Argentina."

And in other news:

The Wall Street Journal
Link: Wireless Carriers Move Beyond Smartphones

"Wireless carriers aren't just for smartphones anymore, as indicated by the devices they displayed at the Consumer Electronics Show this week.

"While Verizon Wireless and AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) have benefited from the rapid adoption of smartphones, as that growth slows the carriers are directing customers to other devices that connect to the network, such as those that control a home energy's use.

"The move is meant to increase the carriers' reach into customers' lives, enabling the company to sell buckets of data and making it harder for subscribers to switch providers."

Bloomberg
Link: Patent Privateers Sail the Legal Waters Against Apple, Google

"To harry other nations without attacking them, monarchs like England's Elizabeth I commissioned ship captains to plunder merchant vessels, creating a type of pirate known as a privateer.

"The term is used today to describe businesses that obtain patents from technology companies and then file infringement lawsuits against the sellers' competitors. Tech companies use privateers to distract their adversaries or collect royalties on the patents without provoking retaliatory litigation, said Ron Laurie, managing director of Inflexion Point Strategy LLC in Palo Alto, California.

"Nokia Oyj (NYSE:NOK), Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT), and Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU) are among companies connected with these licensing firms. Companies that would, in the past, assert their patents in lawsuits only to protect their property now say they work with privateers because they're obligated to make money from past research."

AllThingsD
Link: After Just Two Years, Nearly Half of Verizon's Data Traffic Is on LTE

"In his keynote speech at CES this week, Verizon (NYSE:VZ) CEO Lowell McAdam observed that it was back in late 2010, during a similar keynote, that he touted the launch of the company's then-new 4G LTE mobile data network. Now, just two years later, nearly half of the carrier's overall data traffic is transmitted over it."

ZDNet
Link: Vodafone customers hit by BlackBerry outage

"Research In Motion's (NASDAQ:RIMM) BlackBerry service is experiencing problems in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) has confirmed, with many unable to access data services on their devices."

"Some BlackBerry customers are not able to receive their email or communicate over instant messaging. According to Reuters, Vodafone is working 'closely' with RIM to restore the service as quickly as possible."

Twitter: @ChrisWitrak
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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