- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 18, 2017

Apple has announced the resignation of its vice president of diversity and inclusion just one month after she apologized for saying white people can be diverse.

Denise Young Smith, who is black, angered activists during this year’s One Young World Summit in Bogota when she defended the diverse “life experience” that Apple’s white employees bring to the table. The executive apologized within days, but the company now says she will head to Cornell Tech at the end of the year.

“I focus on everyone,” Ms. Smith, who has 20 years of experience in the company, said during the Oct. 4-7 conference. “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 blond 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.”

An Apple source told Tech Crunch on Thursday that Ms. Smith’s departure was discussed with CEO Tim Cook roughly one year ago, despite the announcement after six months on the job.

Christie Smith, who spent 17 years as a principal at Deloitte, will take over the role and report to Apple VP for People Deirdre O’Brien, the website reported.

“We deeply believe that diversity drives innovation,” an Apple spokesperson said in a statement to TechCrunch. “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.”

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