Apple's Denise Young Smith to leave Inclusion & Diversity post by end of 2017

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in General Discussion
Though in the job for just 7 months, Apple's first-ever VP of Inclusion and Diversity, Denise Young Smith, is leaving the company at the end of the year.




Her replacement -- confirmed by an Apple spokesperson -- is Christie Smith, a 17-year veteran as a principal with Deloitte, TechCrunch said. The latter is expected to report to Apple's VP for People, Deirdre O'Brien.

Prior to her Inclusion and Diversity role, Denise Young Smith served three years as Apple's head of human resources.

Smith has actually been talking with CEO Tim Cook about moving on since a year ago, one TechCrunch source claimed. In the past few months the company has allegedly been hunting for a replacement. She already has one position lined up -- that of executive-in-residence at Cornell Tech, starting this January.

Smith generated controversy last month with comments at the One Young World Summit in Bogota, Colombia.

"Diversity is the human experience," she said. "I get a little bit frustrated when diversity or the term diversity is tagged to the people of color, or the women, or the LGBT. There can be 12 white blue-eyed blonde men in a room and they are going to be diverse too because they're going to bring a different life experience and life perspective to the conversation."

She later issued an apology letter internal to Apple, saying that her comments "were not representative of how I think about diversity or how Apple sees it."
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 34
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 5,007administrator
    Okay, gang. I've got the keys tonight, so we're going to leave comments open -- until things get out of hand. 

    Don't be jerks.
    patchythepiratepscooter63cornchiprandominternetperson
  • Reply 2 of 34
    Okay, gang. I've got the keys tonight, so we're going to leave comments open -- until things get out of hand. 

    Don't be jerks.
    Kill joy. ;)

    It's shame she's leaving. She actually had the courage to make an honest statement--followed by a cowardly and obviously forced retraction.
    anton zuykovpatchythepiratetrashman69cornchipradarthekatcgWerksmike1hmurchison
  • Reply 3 of 34
    Okay, gang. I've got the keys tonight, so we're going to leave comments open -- until things get out of hand. 

    Don't be jerks.
    Really, Mike. Come on. That's insulting. This position in Apple amounts to an arm of their HR department. Honestly... who cares?
    edited November 2017 cali
  • Reply 4 of 34
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 5,007administrator
    Okay, gang. I've got the keys tonight, so we're going to leave comments open -- until things get out of hand. 

    Don't be jerks.
    Really, Mike. Come on. That's insulting. This position in Apple amounts to an arm of their HR department. Honestly... who cares?
    If history is any indication -- a good portion of the regular forum contingent does.

    There's nothing in my statement that should be read as insulting, as it wasn't aimed at anybody in particular. In fact, I have some faith that it will remain civil -- and am hoping that I won't be disappointed.
    edited November 2017 patchythepirateradarthekatStrangeDays
  • Reply 5 of 34
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    I hope it wasn’t because of her whites-can-be-diverse comment. If so that’s sad.

    That comment was brilliant, inclusive and very Apple.

    ”17-year-old-veteran”

    It’s good Apple is getting young blood but it’s not fair if she’s replacing Denise because of that brilliant comment.

    Okay, gang. I've got the keys tonight, so we're going to leave comments open -- until things get out of hand. 

    Don't be jerks.
    Really, Mike. Come on. That's insulting. This position in Apple amounts to an arm of their HR department. Honestly... who cares?

    It’s sad Mike has to say that but it’s true. I saw an Apple Store News Story turn into left vs. right.
    patchythepiratecornchipmike1
  • Reply 6 of 34
    Okay, gang. I've got the keys tonight, so we're going to leave comments open -- until things get out of hand. 

    Don't be jerks.
    Really, Mike. Come on. That's insulting. This position in Apple amounts to an arm of their HR department. Honestly... who cares?
    If history is any indication -- a good portion of the regular forum contingent does.
    Then I ask that you immediately censor everyone's ability to comment and lock the thread.
    edited November 2017
  • Reply 7 of 34
    Wow...so, a cult member got eaten alive because she tried to be a little less culty. How...new and how unexpected. I have never seen it happen before.
  • Reply 8 of 34
    I don't know how well she did her job, but her controversial comment was refreshingly on point! Steve Jobs and Woz were pretty diverse individuals. Just because your company looks like the United Colors of Benetton doesn't mean they "think different".

    I am a person of color and I approve of this message.
    patchythepiratemacseekercornchiprandominternetpersoncgWerksmike1anton zuykovelijahg
  • Reply 9 of 34
    Okay, gang. I've got the keys tonight, so we're going to leave comments open -- until things get out of hand. 

    Don't be jerks.
    Lol. I appreciate your approach. I hope we can have the same approach for other issues as well. For example, I was disappointed that we didn't get to have a discussion on here regarding Tim's comments about the russia/fb issue.

    As for this issue, I don't think anyone's gonna to get too worked up. I don't think there was ever much controversy about Ms Smith, it seemed more about the position itself, which has already been hashed out pretty thoroughly. Even back then, a large contingent just decided to retreat to their own safe space anyway, rather than engage in a logical, productive discussion.

    cali
  • Reply 10 of 34
    Mike WuertheleMike Wuerthele Posts: 5,007administrator
    Okay, gang. I've got the keys tonight, so we're going to leave comments open -- until things get out of hand. 

    Don't be jerks.
    Lol. I appreciate your approach. I hope we can have the same approach for other issues as well. For example, I was disappointed that we didn't get to have a discussion on here regarding Tim's comments about the russia/fb issue.

    As for this issue, I don't think anyone's gonna to get too worked up. I don't think there was ever much controversy about Ms Smith, it seemed more about the position itself, which has already been hashed out pretty thoroughly. Even back then, a large contingent just decided to retreat to their own safe space anyway, rather than engage in a logical, productive discussion.

    Baby steps.
  • Reply 11 of 34
    I’m not aware that we know why she’s leaving. Does someone have information that she’s leaving because of those comments she made?  :/
  • Reply 12 of 34
    I seriously doubt she was forced out over that trivial brouhaha.  That's ancient history and was hardly news even when it happened.
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 13 of 34
    Denise Smith’s comment was never quoted within the context in which it was given as far as I can tell. I don’t know that context either, but would like to.


    edited November 2017
  • Reply 14 of 34
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,151moderator
    Seems to me, if it’s true that she announced her intention to leave a year ago and she’s been in the newly created diversity position seven months, that Cook maybe asked her to spearhead that position before exiting.  So it’s all to plan.  
    lorin schultz
  • Reply 15 of 34
    Her comments were true and insightful. Not typical knee-jerk response. She is great. The only mistake was that unnessecary apology. They should fight to keep her on. 
    anton zuykov
  • Reply 16 of 34
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    Wow...so, a cult member got eaten alive because she tried to be a little less culty. How...new and how unexpected. I have never seen it happen before.
    You’re changing the story. Stop assuming and troll elsewhere. 
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 17 of 34
    Smith has actually been talking with CEO Tim Cook about …
    Smith generated controversy…

    Wait… they’re both named Smith!


  • Reply 18 of 34
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,314member
    cali said:
    I hope it wasn’t because of her whites-can-be-diverse comment. If so that’s sad.
    That comment was brilliant, inclusive and very Apple.
    ”17-year-old-veteran”
    It’s good Apple is getting young blood but it’s not fair if she’s replacing Denise because of that brilliant comment.
    Actually, if you understand the whole academic kerfuffle regarding race/diversity and such lately (and the ideology behind it... i.e.: intersectionality, etc.), what she said was extremely inappropriate and can't be tolerated. "12 white blue-eyed blonde men" can't possibly be diverse, as no matter their background or experiences, they come from the same place (or are at least assumed to) on power scale.

    Whether or not that's why she's leaving, I don't know. But, I was frankly a bit 
    shocked she didn't get into more hot-water than she did over those comments, as they are heresy to the majority of the diversity movement going on in tech, or coming from the political/academic 'left'.
    edited November 2017 anton zuykov
  • Reply 19 of 34
    Whatever happened to hiring the best and the brightest regardless of skin color, ethnicity or sexual orientation?
    mmatzelijahg
  • Reply 20 of 34
    spice-boyspice-boy Posts: 1,035member
    I really doubt anyone posting an opinion here knows what it is like to work at Apple or any large tech corporation and what motivates a person's career choices. Since all of we posting here are anonymous none of our comments will likely make headlines and be used as evidence by one side or another to promote or discredit us. Meanwhile there are some very high profile people making decisions that will affect our lives who are unable to construct a coherent sentence. 
    StrangeDays
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