For 30-plus years, Deirdre O’Brien has been giving Apple Inc. a human touch. She started working at the original Apple factory scheduling the production lines for early Mac products like Macintosh SE and the Macintosh plus. She then helped build out the company’s very first retail and ecommerce sites, and then was instrumental in the company’s expansion across the globe. Now, as Senior Vice President of Retail + People reporting directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook, O’Brien is one of the highest-ranking executives at the company.
“I just felt like the constant growth of the Apple culture is something that I tried to weave through everything that we did,” she tells InStyle. “So now, every day, I get to wake up and really think through how we make sure that we help support Apple employees to do the best work of their lives.” O’Brien cites lessons she learned from Steve Jobs in those early days as the backbone of her people-focused philosophy. “Something that I think Steve really instilled in all of us is that technology is here solely to connect people,” she says.
When asked what the most badass thing she thinks she’s ever done, says coming out in her mid 20s about 25 years ago was one of her toughest and yet proudest moments. “I was scared, but knew I had to bring my full self to Apple,” she says
MacDailyNews Take: O’Brien is an Apple lifer and that’s exactly the sort of person who should be the compnay’s Retail + People chief!