Dean of Apple University Shares a Detailed Look at How Apple is Run

In a comprehensive article over at the Harvard Business Review, Joel M. Podolny, the Dean of Apple University, Apple’s in-house corporate training center for its employees, has shared the most detailed look ever at how Apple is run and organized.

Apple’s main purpose is to “create products that enrich people’s daily lives,” notes Podolny while adding that it involves not only developing entirely new product categories such as the iPhone and the Apple Watch but also continually innovating within those categories.


“To create such innovations, Apple relies on a structure that centers on functional expertise,” he writes. “Its fundamental belief is that those with the most expertise and experience in a domain should have decision rights for that domain.”

Podolny also details how the bonuses of senior R&D executives are based on company-wide performance numbers rather than the costs of or revenue from particular products.

Apple is not a company where general managers oversee managers; rather, it is a company where experts lead experts. The assumption is that it’s easier to train an expert to manage well than to train a manager to be an expert.

At Apple, hardware experts manage hardware, software experts software, and so on. This approach cascades down all levels of the organization through areas of ever-increasing specialization.

You can read the lengthy article in its entirety at the source page. It’s quite an interesting read.