Apple senior exec leaves iPhone maker after remark in viral video


FILE PHOTO: The Apple Inc. logo is seen hanging at the entrance to the Apple store on 5th Avenue in Manhattan, New York, U.S., October 16, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Segar

(Reuters) - Apple Inc's Tony Blevins, a key player in the company's supply chain operations, is leaving the iPhone maker, the company confirmed on Thursday, without providing a reason.

The move comes after a TikTok video of the executive making a crude remark about women went viral. Bloomberg first reported Blevins' departure.

In a video on TikTok published earlier this month, Blevins can be heard saying, "I have rich cars, play golf and fondle big-breasted women, but I take weekends and major holidays off" in response to a question on what he did for a living.

Blevins had been approached by TikTok content creator Daniel Mac at a car show as part of a video series in which Mac asks owners of expensive cars their occupations.

Both Mac and Blevins' companion in a Mercedes sports car were laughing as Blevins spoke off the cuff while exiting the car. Bloomberg reported that Blevins appeared to be referencing a nearly identical line spoken by the main character in the 1981 film "Arthur."

Apple did not comment on the reason for Blevins' departure. Reuters attempts to reach Blevins for comment were unsuccessful. Bloomberg cited a statement from Blevins in which the executive apologized for causing offense with what he called a "mistaken attempt at humor."

Blevins, a vice president at Apple, had an important role in the company's supply chain operations.

His job involved lining up anywhere from two to six suppliers for each of the thousands of components in Apple's products and playing those suppliers off one another to get better prices for Apple. A 2020 profile of Blevins in the Wall Street Journal said he was know inside the iPhone maker as "the Blevinator."

(Reporting by Akash Sriram in Bengaluru and Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Leslie Adler and Rosalba O'Brien)

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