After Making 'Controversial' Comments, Apple's VP of Diversity to Leave Company

| NOV 17, 2017 | 11:29 PM

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Apple's vice president of diversity and inclusion will be leaving her position after only half a year on the job, TechCrunch reported Thursday.

Denise Young Smith, who took the position in May, had previously been the company's head of worldwide human resources for three years.

Young Smith's soon-to-be former role involved a “significant upscaling of responsibility” in which she reported directly to CEO Tim Cook, according to sources who spoke to TechCrunch.

As Independent Journal Review previously reported, at a tech conference in Colombia last month, Young Smith raised eyebrows with comments regarding diversity:

"Diversity is the human experience. I get a little bit frustrated when diversity or the term diversity is tagged to the people of color, or the women, or the LGBT or whatever because that means they’re carrying that around ... because that means that we are carrying that around on our foreheads. ...

There can be 12 white blue-eyed blonde men in a room and they are going to be diverse too because they’re going to bring a different life experience and life perspective to the conversation."

Young Smith later apologized for her remarks.

“My comments were not representative of how I think about diversity or how Apple sees it,” she said.

The backlash that led to her apology caused some to decry “Big Tech groupthink,” drawing on a prior incident at Google in which an employee who penned a memo about the tech giant's diversity policy was later fired.

Young Smith is expected to leave the company by year's end. Apple has selected Christie Smith from Deloitte to replace her.

“We deeply believe that diversity drives innovation,” a spokesman told TechCrunch in a statement. “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."

A diversity report from Apple released earlier in November shows the company's workforce is 54 percent white, 21 percent Asian, 13 percent Hispanic and 9 percent black. Male workers outnumber women by about two to one.