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Apple’s communications chief leaves after less than a year

Apple is known for a culture of secrecy, one that is in large part managed by the company’s head of communications. But it was difficult to fill that role, with the most recent entrant – Stella Low, formerly the PR chief of Cisco — now leaving after less than a year on the job.

Fifteen-year-old Apple vet Kristin Huguet Quayle takes over, according to journalist Kara Swisher and John Paczkowski of BuzzFeed. Apple has confirmed that BuzzFeed that she has been promoted with immediate effect, as Low is leaving to spend more time with her family. The previous communications boss, Steve Dowling, left in September 2019, and Apple left the position open for nearly two years before hiring Low last May. (At the time, longtime Apple marketing and App Store boss Phil Schiller was reportedly standing by.)

Between Dowling and Low, Apple became the world’s most valuable publicly traded company, ending up in the (ongoing) Epic vs Apple lawsuit, and became embroiled in all manner of investigations from antitrust enforcement, developers, app store users, and his own employees—those who might topple his fortress of secrecy.

Apple’s PR chief before that, Katie Cotton, sets the tone for company communication for 18 years. Apple was reportedly looking for a “friendlier, more approachable” successor after it left. I wonder if the company’s relationship with the press will change again.

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