Apple has hired a new vice president of sales. Zane Rowe is joining Apple from United where he was CFO in what some are suggesting is an odd move downwards on the career ladder. Some are even jokingly suggesting that Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer should be worried.

Apple spokesman Steve Dowling announced that "Zane Rowe will be joining us as one of our vice presidents of sales. He built a great team at United and we think he is going to do a fantastic job at Apple.” This won't necessarily be the first time Rowe has worked with Apple. In August 2011 his company started replacing the heavy paperwork that its pilots required with iPads - it's said that each iPad saved the airline 38 pounds of documentation per flight, reducing fuel costs.

The Wall Street Journal outlines Rowe's career to date. Rowe has served as United’s CFO since October 2010. Prior to that, he had been Continental's CFO from 2008 to 2010 and also was responsible for its technology department. He joined Continental in 1993 and held various positions in the carrier's finance and marketing departments.

In contrast, Apple’s senior vice president and Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer has been with Apple since 1996. In his capacity as CFO, Oppenheimer oversees the controller, treasury, investor relations, tax, information systems, internal audit and facilities functions. He reports to the CEO Tim Cook and serves on the company’s executive committee.

Oppenheimer was one of three Apple executives who sold millions of dollars in Apple shares recently after restricted stock units awarded in 2008 vested. The three executives were Apple CEO Tim Cook, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer, and marketing chief Phil Schiller. Oppenheimer sold 80,147 shares at an average price of just under $599/share, after having 69,853 shares withheld for tax purposes. He netted just under $48 million. Tim Cook sold 106,640 shares at an average price of $600.79/share, after having 93,360 shares withheld for tax purposes. He netted $64 million.