After Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) hired former Yves Saint Laurent CEO Paul Deneve, many commentators speculated about the role that this executive would play in Apple’s organization. Apple spokesperson Kristin Huguet raised more questions than answers when she stated that, “He’ll be working on special projects as a vice president reporting directly to Tim Cook.”
Respected Apple analyst Horace Dediu at Asymco points out that it is only natural to connect a former luxury product executive with a “new luxury product,” such as the iWatch. However, Dediu notes that Apple’s organizational structure does not allow executives to exclusively control one product.
In order to illustrate his point, Dediu created a handy chart that outlines what is publicly known about Apple’s organizational structure. The analyst also separated Apple’s executives into “Disruptive” and “Sustaining” roles. “Disruptive” functions involve product creation activities, while “Sustaining” functions involve management and administration.
“Product is a ‘horizontal’ responsibility for which every function is partially responsible,” states Dediu. So it is quite unlikely that Deneve was hired to manage just one product.
Although Deneve has previously held sales and marketing positions at Apple in Europe during the 1990s, there was no indication that he will be involved in running Apple’s retail stores. Apple has not had a head of retail operations since firing former Dixon CEO John Browett in October 2012.
Instead of managing the Apple Stores, Dediu speculates that Deneve may have been hired for the role of Brand Manager. He notes that “brand management” was one of the many responsibilities that Steve Jobs had in his position.
Here’s how Apple closed out the week on Friday.
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