9to5Mac noticed that Denise Young Smith, Apple’s former head of Worldwide Human Resources, has moved jobs to become the company’s Vice President for Inclusion and Diversity:
Smith has been at Apple for over 20 years and was first promoted to VP of worldwide HR back in 2014 from her previous role as head of HR for just Apple’s retail stores, a role that Steve Jobs handpicked her for during the early days of Apple’s retail efforts. She replaced Apple’s then HR head Joel Podolny who switched to focusing full-time on developing Apple University. Prior to that she served as Senior Director of Human Resources for Worldwide Operations and Corporate Employee Relations at Apple from 1997 to 2000.
This is great and hopefully is a step towards Apple improving its diversity record. The bigger change, however, is that unlike previous people to hold this position, Smith will report directly to Tim Cook. That certainly signals that diversity and inclusion are important to the company as a whole—now, let’s see the evidence that it’s improving things.