Apple on Wednesday added mergers and acquisitions head Adrian Perica to its executive leadership page online, a promotion that suggests the technology giant is more focused on deals.
Perica joined Apple in 2009 and was instrumental in deals such as the 2014 purchase of Beats and the investment in China-based ride hailing service Didi Chuxing. He’s an under-the-radar operator who oversees the acquisition and integration of companies that Apple acquires as well as strategic investments.
Apple’s website describes Perica as the vice president of corporate development and lists him as reporting directly to CEO Tim Cook. That title is old, but reporting to the CEO is a move up in the company’s hierarchy. Previously, chief financial officer Luca Maestri oversaw M&A.
The change comes as some Wall Street analysts are calling for Apple to consider larger acquisitions than it has in the past. Apple bought 18 companies in 2018, with none of them crossing the billion-dollar threshold.
“Cook knows it is time to get the deal engine ready,” said Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, who has predicted that Apple will do a major media acquisition this year.
“They have to accelerate non-existent M&A as we believe they can spend up to US$100-billion on M&A over the next few years,” Ives added. “Cook is taking much more oversight of deals and retail, and this is just another tea leaf.”
An Apple spokesperson didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Perica is now one of fewer than 20 executives who report directly to the CEO. That group includes chief operating officer Jeff Williams, chief design officer Jony Ive and Maestri. Mike Fenger and Doug Beck, sales vice presidents, report to Cook despite not being featured on Apple’s executive leadership website.
Cook has continued to tweak his executive roster in recent years, promoting Deirdre O’Brien to the senior vice president of retail and people earlier this year to replace Angela Ahrendts. Cook also named artificial intelligence chief John Giannandrea to the senior vice president level last year. — Reported by Mark Gurman, (c) 2019 Bloomberg LP