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Denise Young Smith Leaving Apple to Join Cornell Tech

Denise SmithDenise Young Smith, Apple’s first vice president of diversity and inclusion, is leaving the company at the end of the year.

According to a TechCrunch report, Young Smith – who joined Apple three years ago – will move over to Cornell Tech as “executive in residence” beginning January next year.

(Read: About Denise Young Smith)


Christie Smith, a principal at Deloitte who has had experience in inclusion, diversity, talent management, organizational design and people solutions, will take over from Young Smith.

Smith is Deloitte’s most senior diversity partner leading the Deloitte University Leadership Centers for Inclusion and Community Impact.

An internal memo said Smith would report to Deirdre O’Brien, Apple vice president for people.

In a statement to TechCrunch, a spokesperson for Apple said: “We deeply believe that diversity drives innovation.”

We’re thrilled to welcome an accomplished leader like Christie Smith to help us continue the progress we’ve made toward a more diverse workplace.”

Change in Career

Young Smith joined Apple in 2014 as head of global human resources.

(Read: Apple Promotes Young Smith to Run Human Resources).

After O’Brien was named human resources head in May, Apple created a new post – vice president of diversity and inclusion – and appointed Young Smith to the position.

A TechCrunch source said Young Smith had been in talks with Apple CEO Tim Cook since a year ago about a change in career.

The source also said Apple has been looking for someone to take over from Young Smith the last few months.

The announcement of Young Smith’s resignation from Apple comes after Cornell Tech said in a blog post that she would become an “executive in residence” beginning January next year.

Cornell Tech said Young Smith would help students “build an early career-stage awareness of inclusive leadership and diverse talent.”

What’s Next?

Young Smith is stepping down from a post that was created for her only seven months ago after O’Brien took over as human resources head.

What can you say about Young Smith’s forthcoming departure from Apple? Share them by commenting below.

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