- Apple’s new head of retail is Deirdre O’Brien, a 30-year veteran of the company.
- She has a background in operations and has worked closely with CEO Tim Cook for years.
- She also was on the team that launched the original Apple store, according to an internal memo obtained by Business Insider.
There’s been a shakeup in Apple’s executive ranks.
Apple’s former head of retail, Angela Ahrendts, is out. Taking her place is Deirdre O’Brien, who leads Apple’s HR division, and who is adding retail to her workload.
Now she’s in charge of 70,000 retail employees in over 500 stores across the world.
O’Brien is the third head of Apple retail in seven years, and she’s the first Apple insider to take the job since the original retail chief, Ron Johnson, who opened the first store in 2001.
As a longtime Apple executive, she lives a private life, but it’s clear she’s a major force inside Cupertino.
Meet Deirdre O’Brien:
She’s a 30-year veteran of Apple. Previously, she was in charge of HR. Her official new title is “Senior Vice President, Retail + People.”
In fact, she’s been at Apple so long, she’s worked under five different CEOs: John Sculley, Michael Spindler, Gil Amelio, Steve Jobs, and now Tim Cook.
She’s worked with Apple CEO Tim Cook closely in the past, and used to work with him in his operations group, where she was in charge of demand forecasting. Before she started to lead HR, she was a VP of operations.
The Apple store isn’t new to her. In fact, she’s helped launch both the first physical Apple store as well as the online store.
“Deirdre was part of the team that planned and launched Apple’s very first online and retail stores. She has been a part of Retail’s exciting expansion and every product launch since,” Cook wrote in an internal memo to employees obtained by Business Insider.
She hasn’t left Apple because she loves her job. “I stayed because I realised I was learning so much,” O’Brien told the East Bay Times. “We feel like a small company every day. We are not worried about protecting things. It’s a very positive rather than a maintenance approach.”
Source: East Bay Times
She started in her new job on Tuesday, according to an SEC filing. Her bio page on Apple’s website has already been updated.
A previous version of this post said that O’Brien worked at IBM before Apple. She did not. We regret the error.
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