Former Apple PR head Katie Cotton has passed away

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 2023
Katie Cotton, vice president of worldwide corporate communications during the Steve Jobs era, has passed away nearly a decade after retiring from her position at Apple.

Katie Cotton with Steve Jobs, Jony Ive, and Phil Schiller
Katie Cotton with Steve Jobs, Jony Ive, and Phil Schiller


Various social media posts marked her passing on Monday night as people mourned. The controversial PR chief was well-known for how she handled secretive information pertaining to products, scandals, and Steve Jobs' health.

Cotton's obituary states she passed away on April 6, noting her contributions to Apple and the community. She was survived by her children Ethan and Isabelle Mimeles, life partner Jim Wells, mother, siblings, and other family.

She was seen as one of the most powerful executives at Apple as she worked under Steve Jobs to curate the culture of secrecy the company is known for today. Cotton retired from Apple after 18 years of service in 2014.

Katie was a formidable figure for 18 years at Apple and I worked closely with her for most of that time. She was a key partner to Steve Jobs, who trusted her judgement. Here's a photo of Katie at the very first AllThingsD conference produced by @karaswisher and me. pic.twitter.com/saAYdYJT3E

-- Walt Mossberg (@waltmossberg)


Despite the controversy and secrecy surrounding Cotton's tenure at Apple, she proved to be quite an influential person. By keeping press releases limited, Apple was able to create demand for news that made every scrap of information from the company feel like a treasure to share.

That attitude has persisted within the company through to today. While Apple has become more open about certain information, it is as secretive as ever about its executives and future product plans -- something Katie Cotton pioneered.

Read on AppleInsider

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 7
    payecopayeco Posts: 581member
    Wow, you just rocked my world saying it’s been almost a decade since she retired. If you had asked me yesterday I would have said 2 or 3 years tops. Crazy how fast time has gone by. Sad she died young. She was around the same age as Steve. 
    edited April 2023 byronldocno42bandits1watto_cobra
  • Reply 2 of 7
    entropysentropys Posts: 4,213member
    Umm, I can’t recall why she was controversial. Cotton was very much about Apple and very focussed messaging.  Too many PR flacks think it is about them and their profile.
    byronldocno42watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 7
    takeotakeo Posts: 446member
    Maybe an article that focuses so much on her being controversial could… I dunno… explain WHY she was controversial? Just a thought.
    cornchipCluntBaby92watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 7
    I think she was only controversial to the reporters that were trying to get a statement out of her.  Kara Swisher recalled Katie Cotton saying that her job was to put Apple in a good light and she wasn’t there to make friends with the reporters. I guess that’s controversial if you’re a reporter that expected PR personnel to be friendly with you.
    docno42CluntBaby92watto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 7
    DAalsethDAalseth Posts: 2,836member
    I think she was only controversial to the reporters that were trying to get a statement out of her.  Kara Swisher recalled Katie Cotton saying that her job was to put Apple in a good light and she wasn’t there to make friends with the reporters. I guess that’s controversial if you’re a reporter that expected PR personnel to be friendly with you.
    I have a feeling that part of it was she was a woman in a position of power in male dominated industries, both computers, and PR. She knew what her job was, did it very well, and didn’t defer to anyone. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 6 of 7
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,758member
    payeco said:
    Wow, you just rocked my world saying it’s been almost a decade since she retired. If you had asked me yesterday I would have said 2 or 3 years tops. Crazy how fast time has gone by. Sad she died young. She was around the same age as Steve. 
    Yes - time flies and I'm getting old  :|
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 7
    tipootipoo Posts: 1,148member

    1965 - 2023 so 58, maybe 57 depending on the months. That's really too bad, but this life thing is random and oftentimes good people go way too young.

    Not to overshare but my own mother is in hospice now with glioblastoma at just 62, it's probably unhealthy but whenever something like this comes up I start doing this mental calculation of did they get more or less years than her, I need to stop doing that. When people are sad about like a 96 year old celebrity dying my reaction is now like, that's not sad though, that's getting to the finish line of life, when many people are cut way too short. 

     I'm assuming by her age and appearance of health, it was cancer? Can humanity please Manhattan Project cancer at this point? 

    edited April 2023 watto_cobracg27
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