Apple's health team is facing internal turmoil leading to multiple employee exits

What you need to know

  • A new report from CNBC paints a portrait of internal strife within Apple's health team.
  • A big point of contention is the direction of the team.
  • The issues have led to multiple employees leaving the company or moving to different departments.

Over the past few years, Apple has doubled down on its intention to focus on health initiatives with the Apple Watch, HealthKit and other projects. However, internally, the health team has run into turmoil as multiple employee defections and disagreements have taken their toll on the team, according to a new report from CNBC.

Tension has been increasing in the health care team in recent months, according to eight people familiar with the situation, although that undercurrent started several years ago.

The overarching goal of the health team seems to be the main crux of the tension. Whereas some employees hoped the team would tackle big health care challenges with medical devices, telemedicine and health payments, the team has instead focused on "a broad population of healthy users."

Additionally, while some employees have successfully moved up within the department, others have felt ignored and bypassed. This has led to multiple exits by high ranking members of the team, including most recently Christine Yun, who was at Apple for almost eight years. Others include Mark Krey, Andrew Trister and Warris Bokhari.

Others, like Brian Ellis, departed the health team for another Apple unit (Apple Music).

Earlier this year, an internal survey showed that moral was down within the department, according to two sources. This prompted COO Jeff Williams to reach out to multiple employees, but given his workload is so extensive, he can only do so much.

The report does get into greater detail about the internal strife and the hierarchy of the team. It should be worth noting that all of the employees that spoke with CNBC did state that Apple does still put high priority on health. There just seems to be a disconnect at the moment with the team.

Apple declined to comment on the story.

Danny Zepeda