Sample Business Paper on The Organizational Structure of Apple Inc.

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) &
President Tim Cook

Senior Vice Presidents

SVP Hardware Engineering
Dan Riccio

SVP & General Counsel
Katherine Adams
SVP Retail & People
Deidre O’Brien

SVP Machine Learning and AI Strategy
John Giannandrea
SVP World Wide Marketing
Greg Joswiak
SVP Software &Internet Services

Eddy Cue

SVP Software Engineering
Craig Federighi
SVP Hardware Technologies
Johnny Srouji

Chief Design office Chief operating officer
Jeff Williams

Vice Presidents

VP User Interface Designer

VP Dean Apple University
VP Marketing Communication
Tor Myhren

VP Communications
VP Worldwide Human Resource
VP Environmental Policy and Social
Lissa Jackson
VP Corporate Development
Adrian Perica

Albert Gore Andrea Jung

Susan Wegner
Arthur D. Levinson

Ronald Sugar

James Bell


Analysis of Apple’s Organizational Structure

Apple Inc. is an American-based international company that was co-founded in
1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Robert Wayne. It is a technology company that
deals with electronics, computers, financial technology, and artificial intelligence. The
most common products are software, hardware, mobile device, and personal computers.
Apple’s organizational structure is lauded to be the epicenter of the company’s success
within the technology industry. The objective of this article is to describe Apple’s
organizational structure and demonstrate how the structure has helped the company to
create opportunities for business growth. The paper will also discuss some of the
limitations of Apple’s organizational structure and the strategies employed by the
company to overcome such limitations. Apple’s organizational structure positions the
company for growth and development and is one of the leading reasons for the massive
success the company has enjoyed over the years that have made it to be one of the most
influential companies in the world.

Description of Apple’s Organizational Structure
Foremost, an organizational structure entails how the workforce and
organizational resources are amalgamated to lay the groundwork for enhancing growth
and development. According to Tasnim (2018), Apple has a combination of the
traditional hierarchical structure that is collaborative, and product-division structure, and
a notable weak matrix. The company uses a vertical hierarchy where the flow of tasks is
downwards while the responsibility and accountability flow upward. The structure has a

clear division of labor and well-written rules (Yun, Lee, & Aoshima, 2019). The
company’s structure has undergone some significant changes since the change of
leadership from Steve Jobs to Timothy Cook. Under Steve Jobs, the company used a
bureaucratic/authoritative structure in which major decisions were made through the
office of the CEO. Tim Cook introduced slight changes in Apple’s hierarchical structure,
making it more collaborative.

Division of Labor and Distribution of Authority

Apple Inc. is headed by a CEO and a team of executives consisting of senior vice
presidents. The CEO is at the top of the hierarchy followed by CFO, COO, Retail, Legal,
Software engineering, among other executives that are organized in a function-based
grouping. The SVPs are at the second level of the hierarchy and report directly to the
CEO (Dewitt, 2011). Also, the functions at the second level are subdivided into various
departments that are headed by the vice presidents. The role of the SVPs is to head
business functions in their respective units. The SVPs distribute authority to the vice
presidents (VPs) who are at the third layer of the hierarchy. The VPs have more
autonomy under Tim Cook, which was not possible Steve Job’s leadership. All crucial
decisions are initiated after the intervention of the CEO. The CEO is the head of all the
Apple also has product-based divisions that demonstrate some elements of the
divisional structure. The SVPs and the VPs are in charge of various products or outputs.
For example, as demonstrated in the organizational chart above, the SVP for Software
Engineering is in charge of macOS and iOS products while the SVP for Hardware
Engineering is responsible for iPhone, Mac, iPod, and iPad products. In this way, the

company can effectively manage various products or product components that it delivers
to its consumers. The interactions or collaborations among various components constitute
a weak-functional matrix. According to Heracleous & Papachroni (2016), a weak
functional matrix is the one in which project directions are determined by top
management. The project heads have limited control or authority and are directly
answerable to top leaders. For example, Apple’s organizational structure allows hardware
teams to collaborate with software team thereby facilitating the dissemination of
information, which, in turn, makes it is easy to implement innovative processes that
support brand development and premium pricing strategies.
Besides, all operations within the organization are divided into various subunits,
including Global outsourcing, Control, Apple Care, Apple Online Store, Internet
Services, Education Communication, Marketing, among other units (Soh & Najihah,
2019). This allows the subunits to be divided into several functions, each of which is
headed by senior executives. All the executives heading various functions are required to
report directly to the CEO. The organization also emphasizes job specialization. All
employees are aware of their work responsibilities and what is expected of them by the
management. Though the company’s organizational structure is less stiff than it was
under Steve Jobs, it still uses the spoke-and-wheel hierarchy established by the

How Apple’s Organizational Structure helps it Achieve its Goals
Apple Inc. can find justifiably proud itself as being of the most successful
technology companies in the world. However, Apple Inc. had severe financial problems
and dwindling profits, a trend that began in the 1980s. Steve Jobs left the company in

1985 following leadership fallout. By 1996 the company had reached a near bankruptcy.
Steve Jobs came back as the interim CEO after Apple bought NeXT Software, the
company that Jobs founded after leaving Apple in 1985 (Nguyen, 2016). Jobs’ returned
both with an innovative mindset with which he co-founded the company and great
leadership capacity that saved the company from the brinks of failure. The failure of
Apple Inc. before the return of Steve Jobs was as a result of dysfunctional leadership and
management structure.
Apple Inc.’s organizational structure enhances quick decision-making process
since it places control in the hands of top leadership. When Jobs returned, he redesigned
the organizational structure and centralized decision-making processes and the
supervision the Apple products. The innovativeness and the leadership of Jobs turned the
company around from the path of bankruptcy to growth and prosperity (Gansky, 2017).
The hierarchical structure with a centralized leadership style helped the company to gain
strong control over organizational processes, decisions, and activities. Theoretically, the
hierarchical structure empowered Steve Jobs to take control of the company and steer it
towards success. The hierarchical structure still empowers Tim Cook to take control of
the leadership and the direction of the organization. The product based-grouping ad the
function-based grouping allows the CEO, the SVPs, and the VPs to control all
organizational processes through the decisions of the CEO. This is crucial for creating an
innovative environment.
Apple Inc.’s hierarchical structure makes it easy and necessary for the CEO to
make decisions based on strategic factors that can help the company to take advantage of
its opportunities, identify its strengths, minimize threats and overcome weaknesses. One

of the internal strengths of Apple Inc is that it enhances rapid and effective innovation
processes. Innovation is the fortress of the company enabling to stay ahead of stiff
competition in the industry while maintaining high-profit margins (Amin & Munsi,
2020). The company’s innovation capacity enables it to keep pace with the emerging
technologies enhancing its competitive advantage in the process. Through innovation, the
company has managed to maintain a strong brand image over the years, especially after
the return of Steve Jobs as the CEO. Jobs introduced centrality, placing accountability
and responsibility for all the decisions and process directly on the CEO. This places the
CEO and the executives in control of everything that that goes on within the company.
When Tim Cook took over, he introduced interdepartmental and intergroup
collaboration that increases the speed of response to innovation demands. The
collaboration allows information to be disseminated freely within the company, making it
easy for the organizational members to exchange ideas to improve its products. By virtue
of this strength, the company not only maintains a strong brand image but can also take
advantage of its brand image to introduce new profitable products. Besides,
collaborations between various functions allow innovative product development that
enhances premium pricing strategy, which generates high-profit margins. This allows the
company to maximize profits even when the sales volumes are low.
Apple Inc.’s organizational structure also enables the company to take advantage
of the opportunities available to the business. Essentially, opportunities are external
factors within the industry environment that enhance the strategic direction of the
business. Some of the most common opportunities available to Apple Inc. include
increased sales volume due to increased demand, ever-expanding networks of

distribution, and development of new products. As mentioned earlier, Apple’s
organizational structure allows collaboration between various functions, which increases
innovativeness. The company takes advantage of the innovativeness, and the strong brand
image o develop new product lines, such as Apple Watch. Introducing new products is a
strategy that can effectively support organizational growth in the global market.
However, Apple’s organizational structure limits the flexibility of the company.
The lower levels in hierarchical structure lack the flexibility of the response to the market
demands and business needs since the CEO and the top executives make all the decisions.
In other words, the managers, supervisors, and employees at the bottom of the hierarchy
do not have the autonomy to respond to the business needs or market demands. The lack
of autonomy can be a demotivating factor that can lower morale among organizational
members. The company has made some efforts to encounter this challenge by improving
the structure to enable collaborations among product-based and function-based
groupings. However, everything must still go through the CEO, the SVPs and the VPs,
which implies that the company’s structure still does not support rapid response to



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