Apple Separates Human Resources Role From Retail, Adds New Chief People Officer

Apple is hiring Carol Surface as its new chief people officer, with Surface set to report directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook, reports Bloomberg. Apple head of retail Deirdre O'Brien had been handling the "people" role, but Apple has now made a dedicated hire and has removed the duties from O'Brien.

apple employees trio
While O'Brien will continue to be Apple's retail chief, Surface will lead the People team, which is known as Human Resources at most companies. That team at Apple is designed to help Apple connect with and care for its employees, handling talent development, recruiting, employee relations, benefits, compensation, inclusion and diversity, Apple University, and more.

Apple is hiring Surface from Medtronic, where she currently serves as Chief Human Resources Officer. She has been with Medtronic for over nine years, and also worked at Best Buy and Pepsi. Surface is set to start at Apple in March.

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Top Rated Comments

DTphonehome Avatar
8 months ago
In response, Microsoft has hired Carl iPad as Head of Persons.
Score: 55 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Todd Fisher Avatar
8 months ago

We can still use the word “Chief”? Just askin
Within 5 years, the term "People" will probably be offensive to some folks lol.
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
genzai Avatar
8 months ago

Nope. It's racist to use the word if it's not related to indigenous groups - English has other perfectly good words to use. Derogatory is in the eye of the beholders too. In this case, it's low key appropriation. Chief isn't meant to be used in a business sense - it has a reeeeeal specific meaning to the people the word was taken from. And when I say 'taken', I mean 'murdered'. This is why it's just the done thing now not to use the language. Apple are dumb.
Very sad to see comments like this. Is this some sort of knee jerk response?
1) This is not a Native American word. So far as I know it has not even been adopted widely into Native American languages. The word has etymology in Latin and French and had been in use in the English language for at least 200 years before English speakers arrived in the americas.

2) You know there is a related adverb as well, "chiefly"- how does that fit into your linguistic view?

3) If anything, it could be racist to use it /IN/ a Native American contexts. For instance, it would be wildly inappropriate to call a Native American person you just met (or even knew well) "Hey, Chief..." Just as it would be very suspicious to say "hey, Jew" or "hey Sheik" - It's not necessary (to call out one's ethnicity or culture) and it would be hard to envision a context in which that conveyed positive intentions. But at the same time, if Native American communities accept the use of the word "Chief" to describe tribal leaders, then that is an appropriate English word to use in that specific context.

4) It is without a doubt ok and advisable to continue to use the English word "chief" within all the original and ongoing definitions and meanings of the word- Such as in "Chief of Operations at...", or "CEO", or even "OK Chief" (to a boss figure). This has nothing to do with anything Native American or any ethnicity.

Ultimately, I really don't understand these lazy attacks on language. While many, many words can be used in a way that is intended to be purposefully hurtful or derogatory, far fewer are inherently so. It is really important to understand the etymology and all modern use cases of specific language. I consider myself very liberal minded, and I find this /specific/ type of "wokeness" really troubling. There are so many things (which often take real effort) that we could be doing to improve societal or systemic issues related to racial bias, and socio-economic disparities, but we have people who pat themselves on the back for things like "banning" non derogatory words. It creates distracting noise and a false sense of participation on the issues at hand- all energy and effort which could instead be doing actual good. I have a friend who tried to tell me the word "master" was banned. It's wild. Of course we shouldn't use that word in context of a "master-slave relationship", but this friend, whom I still love, really thought we could no longer say someone was a "master painter" or had "mastered a skill" or label a "master hard drive" in context of multiple copies- it is misguided and destructive and distracting. Look at all the time I wasted writing this thing -which I think should be pretty common sense! I could have been doing something much more useful and progressive with this time spent!

Score: 25 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DelayedGratificationGene Avatar
8 months ago
We can still use the word “Chief”? Just askin
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cocky jeremy Avatar
8 months ago

We can still use the word “Chief”? Just askin
My 16th cousin is native american. This offends me.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Attirex Avatar
8 months ago
aka union buster!
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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