Apple's PR Chief Steve Dowling Departing, Phil Schiller to Take Over on Interim Basis

Apple's vice president of communications, Steve Dowling, is leaving the company after 16 years, reports Recode.

Dowling in 2014 took over from Katie Cotton, Apple's former PR lead who left the company. Since then, he's been running Apple's PR team.


Dowling first joined Apple in 2003, serving as Apple's head of corporate public relations under Katie Cotton until assuming the vice president position after Cotton's departure.

In a memo to staff, Dowling this week said that "it's time" and that he plans to take time off from working.

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.

Phil will be managing the team on an interim basis starting today, and I'll be available through the end of October to help with the transition. After that, I plan to take a good, long stretch of time off before trying something new. At home I have a supportive, patient spouse in Petra and two beautiful children blossoming into their teen years. I'm looking forward to creating more memories with the three of them while I have the chance.

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.

Dowling

In a statement on Dowling's departure, Apple said that it's grateful for all that Dowling has done for the company.

"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."

Dowling will remain at Apple until the end of October. Marketing chief Phil Schiller will take over for Dowling in the interim while Apple looks to fill its lead PR role. Apple is said to be considering both internal and external candidates.

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
7 months ago
I was okay with the parting drivel until the last line. :rolleyes:
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
7 months ago
It would be funny if he wrote both his resignation and Apple's response.

Only an insignificant number of users... was some of his best work.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
7 months ago
This is awesome. I'm going to apply! They throttled your performance to save your batteries you big dummies!
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
7 months ago
Phil will do a great job on an interim basis.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
7 months ago

I will always bleed six colors.

Oh, paleease!
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
7 months ago


I wonder if this is related to the lame NYT article.
I hope not. I totally enjoy Apple events. No one does them better.

Well, it sounds like he’s in the same situation with his family that my husband and I are in with kids entering the teen years. It can get more challenging for one parent to do everything and this is the time it really hits that your time with your kids is running down. You feel that countdown to the empty nest.

So maybe he and his wife really do appreciate him stepping away from a high pressure job to be around more. Also this is the time that stress and aging starts taking a toll on health. A lot of us at the same stage of life with family and career can certainly empathize. And note that he’s not the only longtime high level employee to leave recently that sounds a little burned out or worn down, yet still fond of Apple. So there probably is a confluence of the personal with the professional.

But he does actually say a lot about the professional in his own words. And it sounds like he’s taken a lot of accumulated hits for the kinds of criticisms we’ve all gathered annually to level at the keynotes.

I think the WWDC one was a refreshing upswing. But this recent iPhone announcement had all shades of awkward and something awry behind the scenes to it. Presentations that should have been brief were allowed to drag. Details that would have been exciting were rushed or omitted altogether.

It was still better than the competition generally is able to pull off. But Apple is supposed to be the best. Probably because this man gave it his best for so many years.

He sounds like a very dedicated professional and a loving family man. His family will be fortunate to have him home for awhile and his next employer will be lucky to get him. I wish him and his family the best.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Leaker Claims New 13-inch MacBook Pro Coming as Soon as Next Month

Monday April 6, 2020 2:56 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Apple will announce a new 13-inch MacBook Pro in May with the codename J223, according to a rumor shared by YouTuber and leaker Jon Prosser. Note: it’s a refresh to the current 13” So the bigger 14” display upgrade is a big possibility— Jon Prosser (@jon_prosser) April 4, 2020 Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has said Apple plans to release new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air models with scissor keyboards ...

'Leaked' Images Allegedly Show iPhone 12 With Smaller Notch, Rear Camera Redesign, and Home Screen Widgets

Tuesday April 7, 2020 4:28 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Two images shared on social media this morning are currently stoking speculation about possible hardware redesigns coming to the iPhone 12 and the potential introduction of Home screen widgets in iOS 14. Shared by Twitter user Fudge (choco_bit), the images depict a front and rear graphical representation of a smartphone with interface elements on the screen, suggesting it came out of a...

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 13.4.1 With Fix for FaceTime Bug

Tuesday April 7, 2020 10:06 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 13.4.1, minor updates that come two weeks after the release of iOS and iPadOS 13.4, major updates that introduced iCloud Folder Sharing, a new Mail toolbar, trackpad support for the iPad, and more. The iOS and ‌iPadOS‌ 13.4.1 updates are available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the updates, go to Settings > General...

More References to Apple's Upcoming Low-Cost iPhone Appear Online

Monday April 6, 2020 4:38 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Further references to Apple's upcoming low-cost iPhone have appeared online, one on a Chinese e-commerce website and another on Verizon's smartphone trade-in page. Spotted by tech blog MySmartPrice, Chinese retailer JD.com has published a placeholder for Apple's so-called "iPhone 9" that includes a teaser image of a veiled smartphone, but other than that it lacks any particularly revealing...

Apple Reportedly Targeting WWDC for Over-Ear Headphones Launch, New 'AirPods X' Later in the Year

Tuesday April 7, 2020 7:00 am PDT by Eric Slivka
Rumors of Apple-branded over-ear headphones have been circulating for quite some time, while more recent rumors have mentioned an "AirPods Pro Lite" that could also be in the works, and Twitter leaker Jon Prosser's recent foray into Apple rumors provides a bit more detail on what we might able to expect for these products. Current Beats Studio3 Wireless and BeatsX On the over-ear side,...

Facebook Launches 'Tuned' Messaging App for Couples

Wednesday April 8, 2020 4:50 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Facebook has quietly released Tuned, a new messaging app designed to provide a "private space" for couples to connect, reports The Information. Designed by NPE, an experimental group within the company that was established last year, the app encourages couples to share messages, notes, cards, voice memos, photos and Spotify songs with each other, thereby creating a "digital scrapbook" of...

Apple Shares Assembly and Use Instructions for New Face Shields, Shipping 1 Million Per Week to Medical Workers

Tuesday April 7, 2020 8:54 am PDT by Eric Slivka
Following this weekend's news from Tim Cook that Apple is working with its supply chain to produce a million face shields per week for medical workers, the company has shared a support document outlining how to assemble and adjust the shields. The document includes a series of images and animations showing how the simple three-piece product can be assembled for either a regular fit or with...

Some Users Experiencing System Crashes on macOS 10.15.4, Especially During Large File Transfers

Monday April 6, 2020 8:17 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
A sizeable number of Mac users are experiencing occasional system crashes after updating to macOS Catalina version 10.15.4, released a few weeks ago. The crashing issue appears to be most prominent when users attempt to make large file transfers. In a forum post, SoftRAID described the issue as a bug and said that it is working with Apple engineers on a fix for macOS 10.15.5, or a...

2020 iPad Pro Confirmed to Lack a U1 Ultra Wideband Chip

Tuesday April 7, 2020 7:52 am PDT by Eric Slivka
Last week, we laid out evidence suggesting that the just-released iPad Pro models do not contain a U1 Ultra Wideband chip, including the lack of any mention of the chip in tech specs or Apple's press materials, the absence of software support for U1 features, and more. Most tellingly, iFixit was unable to find the chip or related antennas in the device. Daring Fireball's John Gruber has follo...

The New York Times, IFTTT, Medium, and Other Apps Adopt Sign in With Apple Ahead of June 30 Deadline

Sunday April 5, 2020 7:08 pm PDT by Frank McShan
Apps with sign-in functionality, including The New York Times, IFTTT, Medium, and more, have continued to adopt Apple's secure Sign in with Apple feature ahead of a deadline of June 30. The deadline for these apps to support the feature was recently extended from April 30. Sign in with Apple, first introduced in iOS 13, allows users to create accounts for apps and websites using an Apple ID. ...