In a memo, Apple CEO Tim Cook notified that the company has hired Carol Surface as its first chief people officer. The new role is created to reduce responsibilities of Deirdre O’Brien, who had been serving as the senior vice president of Retail and People and reports to Cook.
Earlier this month, the company announced that it would appoint anyone for the role of its chief of industrial design after the departure of Evans Hankey who took on the responsibility of the vice president of industrial design when Jony Ives left. Reportedly, the tech company’s operations manager Jeff Williams would overlook Apple’s product design team.
Apple creates a new role to lessen the burden of its VP of Retail, Deirdre O’Brien
Cook’s communique, obtained by Bloomberg, stated that the company has hired its first chief people officer to remove human resources responsibility from O’Brien who will continue to serve as the senior vice president of Retail.
Naming Surface as the new chief of People, Cook wrote that she will start at Apple in March and will report to him. Surface is hired from a health technology company called Medtronic. In her new role, she is likely to work to improve relations between Apple employees and the company, along with recruitment and other responsibilities.
The company’s description of Deirdre O’Brien’s role as chief of People lists the following responsibilities:
In her role leading the People team, Deirdre works to help Apple connect, develop and care for its employees — and to help those employees do the best work of their lives. Her teams oversee a broad range of functions including talent development and Apple University, recruiting, employee relations and experience, business partnership, benefits, compensation, and inclusion and diversity.
With fewer responsibilities, O’Brien will now primarily focus on the retail division of the company and oversee the following areas:
As the leader of Apple’s retail and online teams, Deirdre supports their work to enrich the lives of millions of Apple customers every year. With a laser focus on the connection between customers and the people and processes that serve them, Deirdre and her team create retail experiences that educate and inspire.
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