After just six-months serving as Apple’s first-ever Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion, Denise Young-Smith announced that she will be leaving the company at the end of this year, according to a recent TechCrunch report.
Prior to being appointed VP of Diversity and Inclusion by Apple CEO, Tim Cook, Young-Smith had been serving as the tech-giant’s head of worldwide human resources for three-years.
Taking Young-Smith’s place, Apple announced on Friday, will be Christie Smith — a 17-year veteran consultant with tax and financial advisory firm, Deloitte — who in her previous role “focused on talent management, organizational design, inclusion, diversity and people solutions,” according to the report. Smith will report to Apple’s Vice President for People, Deidre O’Brien.
“We deeply believe that diversity drives innovation,” an Apple spokesperson said in a statement to TechCrunch, adding that “We’re thrilled to welcome an accomplished leader like Christie Smith to help us continue the progress we’ve made toward a more diverse workplace.”
Interestingly, Young-Smith’s announcement that she’ll be leaving Apple comes less than a few weeks after the Cornell Chronicle published a blog post indicating she would be joining the prestigious University as an ‘executive in residence’ effective January, 2018; where she will reportedly work with students to “build an early career-stage awareness of inclusive leadership and diverse talent.”
It would appear that Young-Smith is departing Apple on amicable terms, especially since she had been discussing “the next phase of her career and life” with Tim Cook throughout last year, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.
Meanwhile, her most significant contribution to the company and its ongoing efforts to foster diversity, would be her first and last diversity report, which Apple published back in July of this year. According to the report, of the iPhone-maker’s estimated 115,000 full-time employees, 32 percent are female and 68 percent are male — while the company’s U.S. employees are 54 percent white (down two points from 2016), 13 percent Hispanic (up one point), nine percent black (no change), 21 percent Asian (up two points), three percent multiracial (up one point) and one percent other (no change).