Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s Public Relations VP Katie Cotton Leaves After 18 Years

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Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is set to lose one of its most influential senior management team members as its Vice President for Worldwide Corporate Communications, Katie Cotton, is retiring.

During her 18-year tenure with the consumer electronics giant, Cotton has had a significant impact in molding Apple’s public narrative as the iPhone-maker released iconic products such as the iMac up to the iPad. Cotton has had to closely manage Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s public relations operations to shape Apple’s public image – a feat, some reports observe, given the company’s inclination for secrecy.

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Cotton’s departure from the Cupertino, California-based company has been confirmed by statements made by Apple to Re/code and Bloomberg.

“Katie has given her all to this company for over 18 years. She has wanted to spend time with her children for some time now. We are really going to miss her,” Apple spokesman Steve Dowling said.

According to The Verge, an unnamed source who is said to be familiar with Apple’s PR group structure has revealed that likely replacements for Cotton include Dowling. Another candidate to replace Cotton is Natalie Kerris who, like Dowling, has been with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) for over a decade.

Cotton, who Bloomberg said was a confidant of Steve Jobs, said that leaving Apple was a tough decision to make. In a statement, she said that “Apple is a part of my heart.”

The current gatekeeper for Apple CEO Tim Cook is leaving the company after other high-profile executive exits.

Last month, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) revealed that Human Interface director Greg Christie will be leaving later this year. In March, Apple said that Chief Financial Officer Peter Oppenheimer will be leaving by the end of September.

Senior executives who have left Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) in the past couple of years include Ron Johnson who was Apple’s retail chief, Scott Forstall who oversaw iOS and was once said to be the next Apple CEO before being ousted from the company, and John Browett who was Johnson’s replacement before being fired.

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