Apple's diversity VP to leave at the end of the year

Denise Young Smith will depart the tech giant. Christie Smith, a longtime Deloitte partner, will take over the role.

Shara Tibken
Shara Tibken Former managing editor
Shara Tibken was a managing editor at CNET News, overseeing a team covering tech policy, EU tech, mobile and the digital divide. She previously covered mobile as a senior reporter at CNET and also wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. Shara is a native Midwesterner who still prefers "pop" over "soda."
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Denise Young Smith, Apple's head of diversity and inclusion, plans to leave the company at the end of the year. 


Apple's head of diversity and inclusion plans to leave the company after less than a year in her role. 

Denise Young Smith, the vice president who reported to CEO Tim Cook, will depart Apple at the end of the year. She was named to the newly created vice president role in May after serving as Apple's head of HR. She has worked at Apple since 1997 in a variety of roles. 

Last week, Cornell University named Young Smith its new executive-in-residence at Cornell Tech starting in January. In her new role at Cornell, Smith will "work with students to build an early career-stage awareness of inclusive leadership and diverse talent," the university said

Christie Smith, who spent 17 years at Deloitte and most recently served as head of human resources at cancer detection startup Grail, according to her LinkedIn profile, will replace Young Smith. Instead of reporting directly to Cook, Smith will report to Deidre O'Brien, Apple's recently appointed vice president of HR. 

"We deeply believe that diversity drives innovation," Apple said in a statement. "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."

The news comes only days after Apple released its annual diversity report. It showed some progress in hiring underrepresented minorities, but the percentage of women at the company as of July 2017 didn't change from last year's level of about a third. When it came to underrepresented minorities, Apple reported a 1 percentage point increase to 23 percent. 

Apple and other tech companies have been trying to diversify their workforce, which includes boosting the number of female and minority employees. Under CEO Tim Cook's leadership, Apple has put itself at the front of social issues like LGBT rights, racial equality and the tech industry's need to improve workforce diversity. Still, it's been difficult for Apple and its peers to show significant percentage increases in diversifying its employee base.

TechCrunch earlier reported the news. 

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