Apple [AAPL] vice president Doug Beck has been named the next director of the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Unit, the department said Tuesday.

Along with Beck’s appointment, the department noted the DIU director will now report directly to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. The position has previously reported to the under secretary of defense for research and engineering.

Doug Beck. Photo: Center for New American Security.

“As DIU Director, Mr. Beck will oversee efforts to accelerate the Department’s adoption of commercial technology throughout the military and also serve as a senior advisor to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense on technology innovation, competition, and strategic impact,” the Pentagon wrote in the announcement.

Beck will serve as DIU’s next director following the exit of Mike Brown this past fall to join venture firm Shield Capital.

DIU is the DoD’s Silicon Valley-headquartered office that looks to bring in start-ups and smaller companies to work on emerging technology areas.

The Pentagon noted Beck has previous experience with DIU, having founded and led its joint reserve component from 2015 to 2019.

Beck will leave his position as Apple’s vice president for worldwide education, health and government. He previously led the company’s businesses in Northeast and the Americas.

The Apple executive is also a captain in the U.S. Navy Reserve, the Pentagon noted, adding he served from 2006 to 2007 in Iraq and Afghanistan with a joint special operations task force. 

“He has also served extensively throughout the Asia Pacific region during his nearly 26 years of service, including command of a large joint reserve unit supporting U.S. Indo-Pacific Command in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii,” the Pentagon wrote.