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Apple's organizational structure

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

Can someone please share some light on how Apple is organized?

I stumbled upon this link which I think is quite accurate up to the second level: http://www.theofficialboard.com/org-chart/apple

According to the above link, under CEO Steve Jobs there are 10 Senior Vice Presidents: CFO, COO, Operations, Hardware Engineering, Software Engineering, iOS software, Worldwide Product Marketing, Industrial Design, Retail and General Counsel. However, when I refer to Apple's Annual Report, it is supposed to organize itself based on 5 segments: America, EMEAI, Japan, Retail and Others (including APAC and its subsidiary FileMaker). So can anyone enlighten me on this?

Also, if the above link accurately reflects Apple's structure, then where does the Online Music Store iTunes fall under? I believe iTunes should play a considerably important role in the firm operations, no?

In addition, what did Steve imply by saying this in a recent speech?

"One of the keys to Apple is that Apple is an incredibly collaborative company. You know how many committees we have at Apple? Zero. Were organized like a startup. Were the biggest start up on the planet. We meet for three hours every morning and talk about all the business, about whats going on everywhere. Were great at figuring out how to divide things up into great teams, and we talk to each other. So what I do all day is meet with teams of people I have one of the best jobs in the world. I get to come in and work with some of the most brilliant people in the world. We play in the best sandbox."

Thanks a lot guys.
post #2 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Psais View Post

Can someone please share some light on how Apple is organized?

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post


Hi Marvin, you're saying that Steve is trying to control everything at Apple?

Anyway here's the organization chart that I got from the website mentioned above:



According to the composition of Apple's Executive Board, I think this chart is quite correct up to the 2nd level. As can be seen, there's no one in charge of HR reporting directly to Steve at all, which makes me wonder why HR is not centralized in this case.

Also, I find it a bit awkward that Education, Online Store, Outsourcing and AppleCare fall under the same reporting level as Americas, Asia and EMEAI (Europe, Middle East, Africa and India). And why are Americas and Asia managed under one person but not under different managers (while total sales of Americas and Asia are substantially more than that of EMEAI)?

Hope I can get some insights from the experts here.
post #4 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Psais View Post

Hi Marvin, you're saying that Steve is trying to control everything at Apple?

I'm pretty sure he does control everything already. The most important people report to him directly, he co-founded the company and they know what happened to the company without him. Nobody's even going to think twice about pissing him off.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Psais View Post

As can be seen, there's no one in charge of HR reporting directly to Steve at all, which makes me wonder why HR is not centralized in this case.

Also, I find it a bit awkward that Education, Online Store, Outsourcing and AppleCare fall under the same reporting level as Americas, Asia and EMEAI (Europe, Middle East, Africa and India). And why are Americas and Asia managed under one person but not under different managers (while total sales of Americas and Asia are substantially more than that of EMEAI)?

You're looking at the top levels of a company with over 35,000 employees. The management duties will be separated out but they will ultimately report to the few at the top. Suffice to say, the company seems to be managing just fine. You're not by any chance an HR graduate who owns a Mac looking for their first job are you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Psais View Post

Hope I can get some insights from the experts here.

This site isn't run by Apple or affiliated in any way but I guess there's a remote chance there's an expert in corporate restructuring of multi-billionaire dollar companies around here somewhere.

What is your interest in the management hierarchy at Apple and what do you see are the visible consequences of what you assume is a badly organised system? In the end, every system is constructed with the intention of producing results. Apple is currently the second most valuable company in the world and is able to execute worldwide product launches of over 1 million units in a single weekend with barely a single hitch.

On paper it may appear that the system should be inefficient but it's the results that matter. If you split out management to make it look better on paper but the managers aren't capable enough and deliver poor results then what benefit is there in using a more theoretically sound model?
post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Psais View Post

Hi all,

Can someone please share some light on how Apple is organized?

I stumbled upon this link which I think is quite accurate up to the second level: http://www.theofficialboard.com/org-chart/apple

According to the above link, under CEO Steve Jobs there are 10 Senior Vice Presidents: CFO, COO, Operations, Hardware Engineering, Software Engineering, iOS software, Worldwide Product Marketing, Industrial Design, Retail and General Counsel. However, when I refer to Apple's Annual Report, it is supposed to organize itself based on 5 segments: America, EMEAI, Japan, Retail and Others (including APAC and its subsidiary FileMaker). So can anyone enlighten me on this?

I don't see the contradiction if that's what is you're implying. For SEC reporting, sales can be divided by region and type, but for operations, they're working on products and services that will be sold several different ways, through several channels and several regions.
post #6 of 7
post #7 of 7
Quote:

Love the quote in that article:

Following the major service problems after MobileMe launched alongside the iPhone 3G, Jobs reportedly assembled the entire MobileMe team and asked them "what MobileMe is supposed to do,". After an explanation, he simply responded "so why the f*** doesn't it do that?"



It seems that currently he's still very much the centre of operations but as we knew has been training up the second line of command.

The problem with that structure is that there is no single decision maker but a group of them. I guess they are pretty much single decision makers in their own fields though so it may work out ok but I get the feeling there's too much room for slacking off without Jobs around. If you don't have a strong presence with high expectations, people tend not to bother trying to meet any.

It's a difficult thing to pull off because on a customer facing side, you have to present the products you have in the best light but behind closed doors, you have to be the exact opposite and be as critical of your work as necessary to make it as good as it can be. We've seen the second-line of staff sell the products but they may not manage to be as critical of their work without an overseer.

I don't see the iMovie staff on the diagram either. I think Randy Ubillos should be somewhere in there. He has strong presentation skills and seems to be good at what he does. A few very strong employees have shown up in various presentations and it would be nice to see more of them.
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