Apple's first diversity chief is leaving after only 6 months

Apple's first diversity chief is leaving after less than a year

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

Denise Young Smith only took on the role of vice president of diversity and inclusion in May.

"We deeply believe that diversity drives innovation", said Apple in a statement provided to this news organization.

Smith will now leave the company at the end of the year and will be replaced by Christie Smith (no relation), who worked at Deloitte. Unlike her predecessor, Christie Smith will not directly report to CEO Tim Cook, but rather to Deirdre O'Brien, who is Apple's human resources chief. "We're thrilled to welcome an accomplished leader like Christie Smith to help us continue the progress we've made in a more diverse workplace".

Last week, Cornell University named Young Smith its new executive-in-residence at Cornell Tech starting in January.

Denise Young Smith, Apple's outgoing vice president for diversity and inclusion. She previously served as Apple's head of worldwide human resources for three years.

Young's resignation came on the heels of comments she made during a panel discussion in October that appeared to equate a group of "white, blue-eyed blond men in a room" as being diverse. Similarly, James Damore, whose Google memo had seismic impacts on the diversity conversation, has repeatedly said he and other likeminded white men are marginalised by Silicon Valley due to their beliefs, arguing he was sacked for railing against an "ideological echo chamber". Like in 2016, Apple's overall female employees constituted 32 percent of the company. White people, meanwhile make up 66 percent of the leaders at Apple in the U.S. Meanwhile, only 3 percent of Apple's leaders in the U.S. are are black, so Young Smith's departure won't do anything to help the amount of black representation at the top.

The announcement comes just days after Smith posted a memo, apologizing for the way she addressed diversity at a conference in Bogota, Columbia.

"For that, I'm sorry", she said in a staff email.

A representative for Apple did not immediately return International Business Times' request for comment. "More importantly, I want to assure you Apple's view and our dedication to diversity has not changed".

"Meaningful change takes time", the company said in its report.

Apple's diversity is improving, but it's still far from where it should be and is moving at a slow pace.

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