Department of Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin III has named Apple Vice President Doug Beck as the next director of the Defense Innovation Unit.
As director, Beck will lead efforts to speed up the adoption of commercial technology by the military and serve as a senior adviser to the secretary and deputy secretary of defense on technology innovation, competition and strategic impact, DOD said.
Beck joined Apple in 2009, co-leading the company’s global business development and sales functions and its business across Northeast Asia and the Americas. He most recently oversaw several of Apple’s purpose-driven businesses worldwide, including in health, education, and other institutions of public impact.
The Apple VP’s diverse background includes serving as a captain in the U.S. Navy Reserve, founding and leading DIU’s joint reserve component and serving as an appointed member of the Secretary of State’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board. He has also worked as an executive adviser to three Chiefs of Naval Operations and special operations community leadership and as an adjunct lecturer on strategy and innovation for Flag and General Officers at the Naval Postgraduate School.
Meanwhile, Austin released a memo to DOD leadership detailing updates to DIU’s reporting and management structure. In the memo, Austin said the DIU will be directly under the secretary of defense, with the DIU director reporting directly to the defense secretary. Austin said the changes will further enable DIU to execute its mission to accelerate the adoption of commercial technology at speed and scale.