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Apple University dean and vice president Joel Podolny today wrote an in-depth article on Apple's organizational structure for Harvard Business Review.
Titled "How Apple is Organized for Innovation," Podolny's piece delves deep into Apple's structure and how that has helped it grow over the years. Starting back when Jobs took over the company when he returned to Apple 1997, Podolny explains how Jobs fired the managers of each individual business unit and converted Apple into "one functional organization," a setup that Apple continues to have to this day.
As was the case with Jobs before him, CEO Tim Cook occupies the only position on the organizational chart where the design, engineering, operations, marketing, and retail of any of Apple's main products meet. In effect, besides the CEO, the company operates with no conventional general managers: people who control an entire process from product development through sales and are judged according to a P&L statement.
Apple's structure dictates that the people who have the most expertise and experience in a given domain should have the decision rights for that domain, with the company relying on technical experts rather than managers to make key decisions.
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