June 18, 2020
Report: Apple's head of diversity and inclusion has left the company
Apple's head of diversity and inclusion Christie Smith has reportedly left the company as the tech giant commits to combating racism in the wake of renewed calls for equality in America.
Smith's exit was planned two months ago, according to Apple via Bloomberg. That suggests she was set to leave weeks before race protests spread across the country, sparking plans for Apple to invest more in Black-owned businesses.
Smith, who previously worked at the audit and consulting firm Deloitte, started at Apple in 2017. She moved in the position after her predecessor made controversial remarks surrounding diversity at the iPhone company.
Apple has not said who will take on the vacated position, though the diversity and inclusion team will continue to report to its senior VP of retail and people, Deirdre O'Brien, Bloomberg reports. U.S. Today reached out to Apple for confirmation and more details.
Sources told Bloomberg that Tuesday was Smith's last day at work. Her LinkedIn account says her employment at Apple ended in June 2020.
Despite having high-ranking roles meant to increase the company's diversity for years, Apple has made slow and halting progress in diversifying the company.
According to a 2018 filing with the federal government, Apple reported having one Black executive out of a total of 123, less than 1%, and 284 Black managers out of a total of 9,878, less than 3%. Nine percent of its U.S. workforce is Black.
In recent weeks, Apple has announced a $100 million effort to promote racial equality. The company will launch a camp for Black developers and expand work with historically Black colleges and universities. And internally, Apple says, it will hire and promote more Black people.
(c)2020 U.S. Today
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.