Apple has made a significant addition to its executive leadership team with the appointment of Carol Surface as the company’s first-ever Chief People Officer. The news was announced by Apple CEO Tim Cook, in a memo to employees, with Surface set to officially start in March and report directly to Cook.
Carol Surface brings a wealth of experience to Apple, having spent nearly a decade as an executive vice president of human resources at medical device company Medtronic. Before her time at Medtronic, she held a similar role at Best Buy and spent over a decade in human resources and personnel at PepsiCo. Surface holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Castleton University and a Ph.D. in industrial and organizational psychology from Central Michigan University.
As part of this change, Apple is also realigning the role of Deirdre O’Brien, a 30-year veteran of the company who has served as the senior vice president of Retail + People since 2019. Upon Surface’s arrival, the human resources responsibilities will be removed from O’Brien’s role, allowing her to focus solely on retail.
O’Brien’s career at Apple has been marked by several promotions, starting as the vice president of worldwide sales and operations before being promoted to VP of People in 2017. She added retail to her responsibilities in 2019 after the departure of Angela Ahrendts.
This new appointment is a major step forward for Apple in its efforts to prioritize the well-being and growth of its employees. With Carol Surface at the helm of human resources, the company is poised to continue its commitment to creating a supportive and inclusive work environment for all.