From Bloomberg’s “Apple’s Diversity Chief Leaves as Companies Vow to Tackle Racism” posted late Tuesday:
Apple’s head of diversity and inclusion Christie Smith is leaving the iPhone company, according to people familiar with the matter…
Smith joined Apple in 2017 after 16 years at consultancy Deloitte. Unlike her predecessor, who reported directly to the CEO, Smith reported to Apple’s Senior Vice President of Retail and People Deirdre O’Brien. The previous person in the role, Denise Young Smith, lasted only six months and left after apologizing for controversial comments she made about the mostly white makeup of Apple’s executive team.
“Inclusion and diversity are core Apple values and we deeply believe the most diverse teams are the most innovative teams,” Apple said in an emailed statement confirming the news. “Christie Smith will be leaving Apple to spend more time with her family and we wish her well. Our Inclusion and Diversity team continues to report directly to Deirdre O’Brien on the Executive Team.”
Apple said the move was planned two months ago, though a person familiar with the matter said Christie Smith’s last day was Tuesday. She was unique among Apple’s executive team in commuting from Seattle to Cupertino…
Apple hasn’t disclosed its most recent diversity numbers yet, but the company has made some headway in recent years increasing diversity among new hires. More than half of new hires in the U.S. in 2018 were Black, Hispanic or from other historically underrepresented groups in tech. Women accounted for 38% of Apple’s workforce under the age of 30, compared to 33% of the its overall staff.
While Bloomberg does not get into the details of Christie Smith’s departure from #Apple I must admit I am not surprised given how little we heard from her since she joined in 2018. Will be interesting to see if O’Brien takes on the role together with Retail+People https://t.co/SjByTWr2AJ
— Carolina Milanesi (@caro_milanesi) June 17, 2020
My take: When it comes to racial diversity at Apple, retail is where the action is.