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Apple Appoints Deirdre O'Brien to New 'Vice President of People' Role

Apple today announced that it is promoting Deirdre O'Brien to a new head HR role, "vice president of People." O'Brien, who previously served as vice president of Worldwide Sales and Operations, has been at Apple for nearly 30 years.

According to the news release, O'Brien will lead all HR functions, like talent development, recruiting, benefits, compensation, and business support, plus she'll oversee Apple University, where employees are trained. She will be reporting directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook.

"As long as I've been at Apple, Deirdre has been the glue that bonds our operations, sales, marketing and finance teams to deliver products to our customers," said Tim Cook, Apple's CEO. "Deirdre deeply understands Apple's unique culture and that people join Apple to do the best work of their lives. She is a superb leader and I'm thrilled she will be bringing her experience and talent to this critical role."
O'Brien first joined Apple in 1988 and has had a "key role" in each Apple hardware product launch over the past 20 years. She will start her new position as vice president of People in the fall.
"I love Apple and, like so many of my colleagues, I'm honored to have made it my life's work," said Deirdre. "I'm excited to begin this new chapter, supporting 120,000 incredibly talented people around the world who are motivated to do amazing things every day. It is a privilege to work among such a diverse and talented team, and to help them thrive here at Apple."
Apple has recently taken to announcing high profile hires and promotions on its news site, most recently sharing the hiring of Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg, two former Sony Pictures executives who will lead Apple's original programming efforts, and the promotion of Isabel Ge Mahe to Managing Director of Greater China.

Top Rated Comments

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9 months ago
Diversity - cool

Making up **** to fit a quota - not cool

I'm not one to know things about Apple - The Business Side, but this doesn't sound real.

Yo Apple, make me Vice President of Air. I'll make sure the campus' air quality is on par. I require 100K salary and stock though
Rating: 12 Votes
9 months ago
Is this related to the Human Fund?
Rating: 10 Votes
9 months ago

Is this related to the Human Fund?

Ha! Glad I'm not the only one who thought that!

Rating: 10 Votes
9 months ago
She has people skills, she is good at dealing with people! Can't you understand that? What the hell is wrong with you people?!
Rating: 8 Votes
9 months ago

What an odd name "Deirdre", how do you pronounce that name?

Dr. Dre
Rating: 7 Votes
9 months ago
Some hipster / fancy name for "Human Resources"?
Rating: 4 Votes
9 months ago

More diversity at the top level is never a bad thing. Especially as the the rest of the VP’s hopefully aren’t going anywhere. Well, most of them... there is one guy who could leave and I wouldn’t be too bothered.

Define diversity. Is it just sexual organs and skin color, or perhaps diversity of thought?
Rating: 4 Votes
9 months ago

I wonder if Apple is their own health insurance "company"? I'd think they could afford it.

Just something HR-ish that popped into my head.

deer-dra. Kinda. I'd guess.

Deer Dree.

Thanks to the both of you, I just found a Youtube vid.

Rating: 4 Votes
9 months ago
I applaud Apple for doing this. When I first started my career, the "Personnel Department" was involved in employee development and ensuring a pipeline of talent to fill open positions. They even got involved in personnel issues between front line employees and management. From my experience working for 4 Fortune 500 companies over the past 30 years, when companies shifted to the "Human Resources Department" they simply became an extension of management rather than serving more as a mediator between management and front line employees - they lost all focus on people as people and instead viewed everyone as a "resource" to be consumed, deployed, recycled or discarded.

I like Apple's emphasis on People as people rather than "resources".
Rating: 4 Votes
9 months ago

That's something the conservatives who criticize diversity definitely don't have.
You want to know what else isn't cool? Crying about an article on the internet because you're upset that a woman got a promotion and you didn't.

No one is "making up **** to fit a quota". She's been with Apple since before you were born most likely.
"sjw" is a meaningless buzzword.

I cannot understand the fetishization of diversity.

You still haven't defined "diversity," by the way.

Let's say you have two candidates for an engineering position at Apple; a white man and a black man. They are both engineers. They are both equally talented. They are both polite, respectful, present well, etc., etc. There is no question both are qualified "on paper" to do the job.

The black man grew up in a middle class San Francisco neighborhood and was educated at Stanford. The white man grew up poor on a farm in rural Wyoming and received his B.S. from the University of Wyoming.

If "diversity" is defined as "someone who brings a unique background and experiences" to the company, which of these hires brings more "diversity" to Apple, the nominally "diverse" black guy, who has the same background as a lot of the other Apple engineers, or the poor farm kid from Wyoming?

I'd argue it's the latter but those who fetishize diversity would argue it is the former.

I don't think anyone is "crying" because a "woman got a promotion." I think people are rightfully pointing out the tech industry's promotion of "diversity" is really just skin deep virtue signaling bullsh!t.
Rating: 3 Votes

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