Apple Park photo of the side of the main buildingSource: Apple

What you need to know

  • Apple's VP of Inclusion and Diversity is leaving the company.
  • Christie Smith joined Apple in 2017.
  • In a statement, Apple said Smith was leaving Apple to spend more time with her family.

Apple's VP of Inclusion and Diversity Christie Smith has departed the company after three years to spend more time with her family.

According to Bloomberg:

Apple Inc.'s head of diversity and inclusion Christie Smith is leaving the iPhone company, according to people familiar with the matter.

According to her LinkedIn profile, Smith has been with the company for 3 years, joining in 2017 after a short stint at Grail and a 16-year career at accounting giant Deloitte.

In a statement, Apple stated:

"Inclusion and diversity are core Apple values and we deeply believe the most diverse teams are the most innovative teams. Christie Smith will be leaving Apple to spend more time with her family and we wish her well. Our Inclusion and Diversity team continues to report directly to Deirdre O'Brien on the Executive Team."

As the report notes, Smith took over from Denise Young Smith, who was in post for only six months. Denise Smith left following controversial comments made at the One Young World Summit in Bogotá in which she responded to a question about prioritizing black women in her new role by stating that a room of 12 "white blue-eyed blonde men in a room" was diverse too "because they're going to bring a different life experience and life perspective to the conversation."

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Just six days ago Apple announced a $100 million 'Racial Equity and Justice Initiative' as Apple and Tim Cook committed to being "a force for that change."

At a time of intense pressure on governments and companies, particularly in the U.S. to do more towards achieving racial equity, the timing of Smith's departure seems a little strange. However, there is no indication from any reports that she is leaving for anything other than personal reasons.