Kara Swisher from Recode reports Apple’s VP of Communications, Steve Dowling, is leaving the company, after 16 years.
Dowling sent a memo to staff this week saying, “After 16 years at Apple, countless keynotes, product launches and the occasional PR crisis, I’ve decided that the time is right for me to step away from our remarkable company. This is something that has been on my mind for a while, and it came into sharp focus during the latest — and for me, last — launch cycle. Your plans are set and the team is executing brilliantly as ever. So, it’s time.”
The communications VP says he plans to take a “good, long stretch of time off before trying something new,” while also spending time with his wife and two children. He will remain at Apple until the end of October.
Apple told Recode the following statement regarding his departure:
“Steve Dowling has been dedicated to Apple for more than 16 years and has contributed to the company at every level through many of its most significant moments. From the first iPhone and App Store to Apple Watch and AirPods, he has helped tell Apple’s story and share our values with the world. Following another successful product launch, he has decided to leave Apple to spend some much deserved time with his family. He leaves behind a tremendous legacy that will serve the company well into the future. We’re grateful to him for all that he’s given to Apple and wish him the best.”
Apple’s marketing executive Phil Schiller will be taking over Dowling’s duties in the interim, with sources informing Vox candidates to fill the position will be considered from both inside and outside Apple.
Dowling previously reported to the former longtime Apple communications leader, Katie Cotton, from the days of company co-founder Steve Jobs. After Cotton left Apple, CEO Tim Cook moved Dowling into the main communications position.
“My loyalty to Apple and its people knows no bounds. Working with Tim and this team, accomplishing all we have done together, has been the highlight of my career. I want to thank you for your hard work, your patience and your friendship. And I wish you every success.”
“I will always bleed six colors,” ended Dowling in his memo.