Apple Diversity Chief Christie Smith Departs

Apple's head of diversity and inclusion, Christie Smith, left the company as of Tuesday, Apple confirmed, following reports.
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Christie Smith, Apple's  (AAPL) - Get Report head of diversity and inclusion, left the company as of Tuesday, two years after joining the tech giant.

Smith's position at Apple was different from her predecessor's, as she did not report directly to Chief Executive Tim Cook, according to Bloomberg. Instead, she reported to Apple's senior vice president of retail and people, Deirdre O'Brien.

The Cupertino, Calif., company did not return a request for comment. It confirmed to Bloomberg that Smith had left the company. 

"Inclusion and diversity are core Apple values and we deeply believe the most diverse teams are the most innovative teams...," Apple told Bloomberg. "Our inclusion and diversity team continues to report directly to Deirdre O'Brien on the executive team." 

Smith departs amid international protests against police brutality and the company's own support of reform. 

Cook sent a memo to staff after George Floyd died during his arrest by Minneapolis police. The CEO said that "George Floyd’s death is shocking and tragic proof that we must aim far higher than a “normal” future, and build one that lives up to the highest ideals of equality and justice.”

After that, the company launched its $100 million Racial Equity and Justice Initiative, which will be led by Apple's vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives, Lisa Jackson. 

Apple shares at last check were 0.7% higher at $354.38 after RBC Capital Markets analyst Robert Muller raised his share-price target for the stock to $390 from $345, affirming his outperform rating.

Muller is enthusiastic about Apple’s stock buyback program. “AAPL remains in a league of its own when it comes to share repurchases,” he wrote in a commentary.

Apple shares are up 21% year to date. The shares have increased tenfold in the past ten years.

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