(Bloomberg) — One of Apple Inc.’s most senior executives is leaving after he turned up in a viral video on TikTok making an off-color joke that he fondles “big-breasted women” for a living.
Most Read from Bloomberg
In the video, published on Sept. 5, Apple’s Tony Blevins was approached by TikTok and Instagram creator Daniel Mac as part of a series where he asks owners of expensive cars their occupations. The executive was stopped by Mac while parking a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren, an out-of-production sports car that fetches hundreds of thousands of dollars.
When asked what he does for a living, Blevins said, “I have rich cars, play golf and fondle big-breasted women, but I take weekends and major holidays off.” He also touted that he has a “hell of a dental plan.”
In reality, Blevins is Apple’s vice president of procurement and is in charge of striking deals with suppliers and partners. He recently worked on the company’s satellite agreement with Globalstar Inc., led negotiations over cellular modems with Qualcomm Inc. and Intel Corp., and has been in charge of driving down the costs of many critical parts that go into Apple’s mobile devices.
After an internal investigation into the matter, Blevins’s team — which included about half a dozen direct reports and several hundred employees — was removed from his command, according to people familiar with the situation.
Blevins, a 22-year veteran of Apple, confirmed the incident to Bloomberg, saying the encounter took place on Aug. 18. “I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended by my mistaken attempt at humor,” he said.
An Apple spokesman said Thursday that Blevins is departing the Cupertino, California-based company.
Blevins has been part of a roughly 100-person group of vice presidents at Apple and one of only about 30 executives that report to either Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook or Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams. Williams has been Blevins’s boss for much of his career, though he briefly reported to Sabih Khan, Apple’s senior vice president of operations, according to the people.
It was Williams’s decision for the company and Blevins to part ways, one of the people said. The operating chief will oversee Blevins’s old team, at least for now, according to the person.
The TikTok video was taken at a car show that Blevins attended last month in Pebble Beach, California. His remarks in the 25-second clip reference a line from the 1981 movie Arthur, where main character Arthur Bach describes his own career: “I race cars, play tennis and fondle women, but I have weekends off and I am my own boss.”
The video garnered more than 40,000 likes on Instagram and 1.3 million views on TikTok. After the clip was published, some members of Apple’s operations and procurement teams reported it to the human resources department, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the situation is private. The company then launched the investigation, they said.
The video became a topic of discussion among Apple employees in recent weeks, with some expressing anger about his comments — especially given that other executives, including Cook and Williams, have publicly championed workforce diversity and the empowerment of women — according to the people. The video has also begun to spread among employees at some of the company’s key suppliers.
Blevins’s departure opens up a void at Apple. He’s been integral to the company’s success over the past two decades, according to employees with knowledge of his work, helping Apple fatten its profit margins and get access to core technologies before rivals. He may be difficult to replace, given his understanding of Apple’s supply chain and his negotiating skills, they said.
The Wall Street Journal described him as Apple’s chief cost cutter in a 2020 feature story, saying he goes by “the Blevinator.”
Most Read from Bloomberg Businessweek
(C)2022 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) — The firm behind the largest exchange-traded fund targeting Chinese tech is bullish on the prospects of a potential audit deal between Beijing and Washington, an agreement it says would prompt investors to flock back to beaten-down shares.Most Read from BloombergApple Ditches iPhone Production Increase After Demand FaltersMacKenzie Scott Files for Divorce From Science Teacher HusbandTrump Refuses to Delay Florida Deposition in Phone-Fraud Case Despite HurricaneTech Weighs on US Sto
(Bloomberg) — Italian engineering company Cimolai SpA has hired advisers at Lazard Ltd. to help it restructure derivatives that have soured in recent months amid steep losses for the euro. Most Read from BloombergApple Ditches iPhone Production Increase After Demand FaltersMacKenzie Scott Files for Divorce From Science Teacher HusbandTrump Refuses to Delay Florida Deposition in Phone-Fraud Case Despite HurricaneVolatility Grips Stocks as Fed Remains Hawkish: Markets WrapThe UK’s Crisis of Confi
(Bloomberg) — Meta Platforms Inc., the owner of Facebook and Instagram, said it will freeze hiring and restructure some teams in an effort to cut costs and shift priorities, putting an end to the social media giant’s years of rapid growth and expansion.Most Read from BloombergApple Ditches iPhone Production Increase After Demand FaltersMacKenzie Scott Files for Divorce From Science Teacher HusbandTrump Refuses to Delay Florida Deposition in Phone-Fraud Case Despite HurricaneVolatility Grips Sto
(Bloomberg) — Australia’s top polluter bowed to pressure from its biggest shareholder, billionaire climate activist Mike Cannon-Brookes, and announced it would exit coal power by 2035, a decade earlier than previously planned.Most Read from BloombergApple Ditches iPhone Production Increase After Demand FaltersMacKenzie Scott Files for Divorce From Science Teacher HusbandGermany Suspects Sabotage Hit Russia’s Nord Stream PipelinesNord Stream Gas Leaks May Be a New Disaster for the ClimateTrump R
Automakers Mercedes Benz and Volvo Cars, U.S. planemaker Boeing Co, and the seaports that support manufacturers will suspend operations in South Carolina on Friday due to the potential impact of Hurricane Ian. Ian, currently downgraded to a tropical storm, is expected to be become a hurricane again later on Thursday before making U.S. landfall for the second time on Friday, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. It issued a hurricane warning for the entire coast of South Carolina.
Missed this year’s Amazon Prime Day? In this case, Amazon has a new Prime Early Access Sale on Oct. 11 and 12. Find out what to expect from Amazon’s latest spending bonanza, how to get ready, and how to find the best deals.
(Bloomberg) — Parts of Florida’s electric grid must be completely rebuilt after Hurricane Ian battered the state and blacked out 2.6 million homes and businesses — many of which face days or even weeks without power.Most Read from BloombergApple Ditches iPhone Production Increase After Demand FaltersMacKenzie Scott Files for Divorce From Science Teacher HusbandTrump Refuses to Delay Florida Deposition in Phone-Fraud Case Despite HurricaneVolatility Grips Stocks as Fed Remains Hawkish: Markets
(Bloomberg) — Major ports and rail facilities across the US Southeast have halted operations as one of the strongest hurricanes to ever hit the country advances as a tropical storm, causing disruptions along the way and resulting in another blow for already strained supply chains. Most Read from BloombergApple Ditches iPhone Production Increase After Demand FaltersMacKenzie Scott Files for Divorce From Science Teacher HusbandTrump Refuses to Delay Florida Deposition in Phone-Fraud Case Despite
AT&T is trading lower Thursday and is very close to a major support breakdown. How major do you ask? Let’s look at one Point and Figure chart. In the daily Point and Figure chart of T, below, we used close-only price data.
After many days of serious selling pressure, real estate investment trusts (REITs) found eager and willing buyers on Sept. 28. Several of the major REITs gained in price by 3% or more, a significant upward move considering the recent downswings. Whether the overall trend lower remains in place is a concern for investors. Here are four well-known REITs that rallied and rallied well: Farmland Partners Inc. (NYSE: FPI) gained 3.26%. After being down by more than 5% after trading opened the previous