A nearly 30-year Apple veteran, O’Brien, currently Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Operations, will lead all HR functions including talent development, recruiting, benefits, compensation and business support, as well as overseeing Apple University.
“As long as I’ve been at Apple, Deirdre has been the glue that bonds our operations, sales, marketing and finance teams to deliver products to our customers,” said Cook in a statement late on Friday.
“She is a superb leader and I’m thrilled she will be bringing her experience and talent to this critical role,” Cook added.
O’Brien joined Apple in 1988 and runs a global organisation.
“I’m excited to begin this new chapter, supporting 120,000 incredibly talented people around the world who are motivated to do amazing things every day,” O’Brien said.
Last week, Apple also launched its machine learning blog, featuring research papers on artificial intelligence. The move goes against Apple’s tradition of secrecy, however, is part of recent opening up by the tech giant in a bid to attract more scientists.
Apple has contributed and launched some key open source projects, such as WebKit, the browser engine behind Safari, and Swift.
The company’s AI director Russ Salakhutdinov last year revealed that Apple will publish its machine learning research.
“Welcome to the Apple Machine Learning Journal. Here, you can read posts written by Apple engineers about their work using machine learning technologies to help build innovative products for millions of people around the world,” the company posted on the website.
Apple has also shared the first post about turning synthetic images into realistic ones in order to train neural networks.