Apple Loses its Head of Inclusion and Diversity at a Key Moment

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Apple’s VP of Inclusion and Diversity, Christie Smith, has left the company. Her exit had reportedly been planned two months ago.

Apple org chart

Apple is yet to announce who, if anyone, will replace Smith. In the meantime, the tech giant’s Inclusion and Diversity team will to report directly to SVP of Retail and People Deirdre O'Brien.

Smith’s departure comes at a tough time for Apple, as recent protests have raised questions about racial equality in offices across America. At the beginning of June, Apple CEO Tim Cook released a memo to all staff reaffirming the company’s commitment to challenging racial injustice.

Smith had initially joined Apple in 2017, after short stint as the Interim Head of Human Resources for biotechnology company GRAIL. She also spent 16 years at Deloitte where she held multiple leadership roles.

In a statement to Bloomberg that confirmed Smith’s departure, an Apple representative said, "Inclusion and diversity are core Apple values and we deeply believe the most diverse teams are the most innovative teams. Christie Smith will be leaving Apple to spend more time with her family and we wish her well.”

Last week, Apple outlined $100 million in funding to create its Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, which will focus on education, economic equality, and criminal justice reform to improve the lives of people of color.


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