Apple’s vice president of communications is departing the company next month. According to a memo obtained byVox, Steve Dowling has informed his staff at Apple that he plans to leave after 16 years at Apple. Phil Schiller will take over on an interim basis.
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Dowling served as Apple’s head of corporate public relations for 10 years and was chosen by Tim Cook to lead Apple’s communications efforts in 2014. His promotion to vice president of communications was made official in 2015. Dowling reports directly to CEO Tim Cook.
In the memo, Dowling says simply that “it’s time” for him to step back from Apple, and that he first realized it during the latest iPhone launch cycle:
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 Schiller will manage the communications team on an interim basis starting today, though Dowling technically won’t depart Apple until next month in order to aid the transition. After he departs Apple, Dowling says that he plans to “take a long stretch of time off” before trying anything new.
The departure of Dowling comes as Apple has faced several other executive changes so far this year. In June, it was announced that Jony Ive is leaving Apple this year, while retail boss Angela Ahrendts departed in April.
Read the full memo from Dowling to his staff below:
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.
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