Joel M. Podolny, the dean of the School of Management, has resigned to take a senior position at Apple, the University said Wednesday.

Podolny will depart Nov. 1, University President Richard Levin said in an e-mail message to the SOM community. His departure — after only three and a half years as dean — comes as a jolting surprise, as SOM recently overhauled its M.B.A. program and is in the midst of planning for the construction of its new campus.

School of Management dean Joel Podolny will leave Yale on Nov. 1 to assume a position at Apple.
School of Management dean Joel Podolny will leave Yale on Nov. 1 to assume a position at Apple.

“This is not a decision I have taken lightly, and I am sure it comes as a surprise to many of you,” Podolny wrote in a message to the SOM community. “The last three and a half years have been absolutely amazing, both for me and for all of the many constituents of this school. Working together, we have come far and accomplished much.”

Sharon M. Oster, a professor of management and entrepreneurship at SOM, will serve as dean for the remainder of Podolny’s term, said Tabitha Wilde, an SOM spokeswoman.

In his message, Levin expressed confidence that Oster could continue SOM’s positive momentum.

“Joel’s unexpected departure challenges each of us to rise to the occasion,” Levin wrote.

Podolny will serve as vice president and dean of Apple University, a spokesman for the company said Wednesday. The dean said in his message that he will remain on the faculty at SOM after he steps down.

Check back at for continuing updates.


  • Anonymous

    Apple, as in the company? What is Apple University?!

  • Sceptical

    Apple University in Australia … or Apple the computer company? I expect more from YDN reporting…

  • YaleProf

    Great. He comes and completely changes what SOM is supposed to be, then leaves.

  • Jack

    There's more to this story than we know. YDN, get your reporters on it. Something's not right.

  • SOMAlum

    Not only that, he is leaving to be vice president of Apple University, which as the first poster noted, is what? And a vice president?

    And his Dear John letter, especially with the space dedicated to his love affair with Apple computers, was hardly reassuring or convincing.

    He makes all the changes to the curriculum and then jumps. It is hard to believe it wasn't for $s.

  • Anon

    Well, it could be he realized what a horrible bunch of petty, small-minded self-absorbed whiners they are at SOM and had enough. "Separate circle of hell" comes to mind…

  • Max Strong

    I did a great contribution to SOM people in his postion they are always getting offers. I wish him a lot of luck. may be he can help the apple store to New Haven.

  • BK Alum

    This is embarrassing. It would be one thing if he had left to be the Dean of HBS (or even just a HBS prof I would have understood) but Apple University???