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Box veteran Karen Appleton joins Apple in an enterprise-focused role

Nine years ago, she was employee No. 8 at the cloud startup.

Miikka Skaffari / Getty

Karen Appleton, the veteran business development executive who was the first non-technical hire at the cloud storage and collaboration company Box, has left that company for an enterprise-focused role at Apple, sources tell Re/code.

Appleton announced that she was leaving Box in a Medium post last week. Today she said on Facebook that she had joined Apple, but didn’t elaborate on the nature of the job. “Officially an Apple employee. Excited for this adventure!” she wrote.

Sources familiar with the move say Appleton will have a role in Apple’s evolving approach to the enterprise marketplace, though her precise title wasn’t clear. Last year, Apple hired John Solomon, a longtime HP exec, to lead its operation of selling to large companies and government agencies. It has also started working closely with enterprise-focused companies including IBM and Cisco Systems.

Appleton was employee No. 8 at Box when she joined in 2007. As she told Ozy in a profile last year, the team of young male engineers “didn’t know what to do with me.”

At Box, she was senior VP for industries and led the cloud company’s efforts to reach customers in vertical industries. She was also the founder of, which made its file-sharing and collaboration technology available to nonprofit organizations for free or at reduced rates. Before joining Box, she was VP for business development at Prosper Marketplace.

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