Apple University Dean Joel Podolny Leaves for Startup

Mark Gurman, reporting for Bloomberg:

Joel Podolny, the longtime dean of the Apple University in-house management training school, left the company earlier this year to join a startup, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

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.”

It doesn’t get a lot of press, but I’ve long thought that Apple University is one of the most essential teams inside Apple. The company has had a remarkable run over the last 20–25 years. Is that sustainable? Few companies stay on top for more than a generation or so. Apple University is an attempt to change that, and one of the last major organizational initiatives spearheaded by Steve Jobs. Podolny was hired by Jobs to found Apple University.

Tuesday, 14 December 2021