Apple Computer’s general counsel has left the company, leaving Peter Oppenheimer, the chief financial officer, in charge of Apple's legal department while the company searches for a successor.
Apple general counsel Nancy Heinen sold more than $8m in shares in the months leading up to her departure, leading to the presumption that she left to enjoy the money with her family and not to take up a new role elsewhere.
Heinen follows Apple’s chief software technology officer, Avie Tevanian and senior vice president of the iPod division Jon Rubinstein, who both left the company in March.
An industry observer said it was likely the company would try and recruit Heinen’s successor externally rather than promote internally.
Heinen joined Apple in September 1997 from NeXT Software, which was acquired by Apple, becoming Apple’s legal representative in the same year that Steve Jobs became CEO. During her time at Apple she became one of Steve Jobs’ most trusted advisers.
Her departure came as Apple won a High Court victory against Beatles’ record label Apple Corps , which will allow the computer company to continue to use the Apple logo in conjunction with its iTunes music service.