Joel Podolny, longtime dean of Apple University, leaves for startup

Joel Podolny, the longtime dean of Apple University, the company’s in-house management training school, left Apple earlier this year to join a startup, Bloomberg News reports citing “people with knowledge of the matter.”

Apple Park in Cupertino, California
Apple Park in Cupertino, California

Mark Gurman for Bloomberg News:

Podolny had run the program since early 2009, when he was hired by former Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs to create the program. He previously served as a dean of the Yale School of Management and a professor at Harvard University.

Podolny was a steward of Apple’s corporate culture as the company pushed into new markets and coped with the death of Jobs, its visionary co-founder. He had worked with Jobs to create Apple University as a way to teach executives about the company’s values — and what it had learned from decades of decision-making. Courses have included topics such as Apple’s relocation of manufacturing to China and the creation of retail stores in the early 2000s, according to the book “Inside Apple.”

Before his departure, Podolny reported to Deirdre O’Brien, Apple’s head of retail and human resources. But earlier in his tenure, he had reported directly to Jobs and current CEO Tim Cook. Podolny was replaced by a pair of new co-deans who had previously reported to him.

MacDailyNews Note: In August 2014, The New York Times spoke with three employees who have taken Apple University: “They described a program that is an especially vivid reflection of Apple and the image it presents to the world. Like an Apple product, it is meticulously planned, with polished presentations and a gleaming veneer that masks a great deal of effort.” More here.

See also: Apple Hires Yale’s Business School Dean for Apple University – October 22, 2008

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