Areas of Management for Apple - Management Essay

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1119 Words
Date:  2021-06-17

Apple is an American company which engages in the developing and sale of consumer electronic products such as iPhones, iPads and Mac computers. The organisation structure of a company indicates who performs what task. The structure facilitates the allocation of responsibilities for various functions and processes to different individuals, workgroups or departments. Consequently, an organisation structure is crucial since it significantly contributes to the success of a company through the potential creation of business growth opportunities. The success of Apple was steered by Steve Job's leadership and continued innovation until 2011 when he passed on. Apple is currently under the direction of Tim Cooks who took over from Jobs. The paper describes the organisation of Apple by describing its current organisation structure indicating the various individuals who oversee the activities of its different departments.

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Figure 1 below shows Apples Organization chart

Apple's organisational structure is hierarchical where the reporting relationships are top down. The structure continues to play a vital role in Apple's success and continuous innovation, for example, the Apple watch. Apple employs a functional organisation structure implying its organisation is based on functions rather than products. Apple has several senior vice presidents who oversee different functions and directly report to Cook.

Angela Ahrendts, a senior vice president, oversees the operations of both the retail and online operations. She leads teams working on the expansion strategies and operation of the on and offline stores. The department is responsible for the integration of retail and digital business. The integration redefines the customer experience through innovative products which ensure clients get maximum satisfaction from the products (Apple, 2017). Eddy Cue oversees Internet software and services function at Apple. Cue's department is responsible for developing contents for Apple's electronic devices such as iTunes, the iBookstore which enables users to purchase and download online books while iCloud provides data storage solutions through cloud computing. The software engineering department works under the leadership of Craig Federighi, a senior vice president. The department is in charge of designing and developing of software programs that manage and support Apple's electronic devices enabling them to perform many of their applications. Such operating systems include macOS and iOS (Apple, 2017).

Luca Maestri, the chief financial officer, oversees Apple's finance function and directly reports to Tim Cook. The finance department is responsible for controlling expenditures, financial reporting and audit, managing the working capital, treasury, capital budgeting and financial planning among others. The cost of infrastructure is significant at Apple and Maestri is responsible for driving programs that reduces it and also provide information to management that improves decision making.

Dan Riccio and Johny Srouji are responsible for the hardware engineering and technologies departments with direct reports to Cook. Dan heads the hardware engineering department whose primary role is the continuous development of hardware products for the iPhone, iPad and the MacBook. Such development includes thin, light, powerful and high-quality camera features products. Srouji runs the function that is responsible for making and testing the processor chips for any defects in chip architecture (Bloomberg, 2017). These chips are superior silicon brains which power Apple devices such as the iPhone, Apple Watch and iPad making them unique. The hardware technologies function enables Apple to run an in-house silicon development giving it a competitive edge through products differentiation (Apple Insider, 2017).

Phillip Schiller heads the marketing division that is responsible for developing relations, coming up with marketing programs and managing global Apple products sales. Schiller is a member of the executive team thus reports directly to Cook. Apple invests a significant budget in this function which oversees sales of its innovative products despite significant price competition. The legal and global security department works under the leadership of Bruce Sewell, a senior vice president. The function represents Apple in court proceedings that arise in its course of business from competitors while it also ensures compliance with corporate governance issues and securities (Apple, 2017). Also, it handles legal matters and manages the Apple's rising patent portfolio by protecting innovations through patenting.

Jonathan Ive is Apple's chief design officer who is in charge of the company's designs department. The core team in this function are responsible for preparing prototypes for new projects which are later released as final products. The design function is critical for Apple since this is what differentiates it from other companies giving it a competitive edge. Jeff Williams is Apple's chief operating officer who ensures manufacturing, shipment and delivery of high-quality products on time. The operations function also monitors the social responsibility activities and handles supply chain systems and processes ensuring no stock outs.

The communications department under the leadership of Steve Dowling oversees Apple's corporate communications globally (Apple, 2017). Also, it is the function's responsibility to handle corporate events and maintain Apple's excellent reputation through the management of public relations and internal communications. Tor Myhren, however, handles marketing communications. The department oversees the display of products in retails stores, advertisements and manages the packaging design that ensures Apple products stand out (Apple Insider, 2017).

The user interface and industrial design departments are overseen by Alan Dye and Richard Howarth respectively. The user interface design department ensures Apple products are user-friendly being straightforward and efficient to use. Howarth runs the industrial design studio which comes up with product designs and envisioning future products (Apple, 2017).

Lisa Jackson handles the environment, policy and social initiatives function at Apple with direct reports to Cook. The department enables continued sustainability of Apple in the wake of increased requirements on environmental transparency. Lisa's department also oversees educational policy through the Apple ConnectED programs (Apple, 2017). Denise Young Smith heads the human resources function that recruits the best talent to help Apple achieve its objectives. Joel Podolny reports to Cook and oversees the operations of Apple University an institution set up to administer training to staff regarding Apple's style and culture.

As per the above discussion, it is clear that Apple's organisational structure is hierarchical with decentralised decision making. This structure encourages continuous innovation and creativity at all levels. Both the senior vice presidents and the vice presidents report to Tim Cook, the chief executive officer however only the senior vice presidents constitute Apple's executive team. Apple's organisational structure is functional meaning its organisation is based on functions, not products. The functional organisational has been critical in aligning the workers to create products which enable Apple to drive exceptional results.


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