Apple Vice President of Communications Steve Dowling leaving in October

in General Discussion edited September 2019
According to an internal memo, Apple communications head Steve Dowling is leaving in October after 16 years of service to the company.

Apple's Steve Dowling
Apple's Steve Dowling

A memo, obtained by Vox, says that Dowling is planning to leave, because "the time is right" for him to go.
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. Im 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.

Apple has confirmed the departure in a statement to Vox

"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 holds a bachelor's degree in political science from the University of Minnesota. Before joining Apple in 2003, Dowling worked at CNBC as as a writer and producer in CNBC's Washington, D.C. bureau. He later established CNBC's Silicon Valley bureau and served as bureau chief.

He was responsible for Apple's worldwide media relations and communications strategy. Dowling led the public relations team as well as employee communications and corporate events, following his role as the head of Apple's corporate public relations team for his first 10 years with the company.

Phil Schiller will assume the role until a replacement is named.


  • Reply 1 of 6
    Apple is doooooooooooomed! Jobs would have never let this happen!! Fire Cook!!! What a sinking ship XD
  • Reply 2 of 6

    Sounds like typical employee turnover.  Good luck to him.

    Hopefully this leads to greater transparency from Apple.  I’m not a fan of the black box approach to crisis management.  But, I am encouraged by the bug bounty program for MacOS.  Security by obscurity doesn’t work for a trillion dollar company...

    It’s getting more difficult to differentiate iOS vs Android.  Both platforms are mature.  

    I looked into Google Fi unlimited recently and they offered 50% off Google phones.  They list 3 years of updates.  If I was Apple I’d attack that.  Apple needs to better emphasize the value of extend support included and Apples high resell value.  You can only sell so many phones with “but it’s got a better camera”.  Apple needs to nail down how long support is for each model.  Why is it a secret?  It’s a strength...

    I do wonder if Steve Dowling leaving is related to the News+ disaster.  Maybe he was the escape goat...  That’s the biggest failure Apple has had recently.  It wasn’t a huge failure in the scope of Apples earnings, but I can’t help thinking it would have been an easy win if presented properly.  Other than that, Apple services growth has been impressive.

    I don’t really know what Steve Dowling‘s responsibilities are, but if he was involved crafting Apples response to Washington’s attack on anticompetitive practices that might be responsible for his leaving.  There’s also the encryption debate that’s been ongoing for the last decade.  Apple has made their stance clear, but I don’t know how well they’ve sold it to the public.  All of it needs to get in front of the Supreme Court, but it’s languished in the lower courts.  Apple should be more proactive on that front...

    Bottom line... Steve Dowling who?  He’s not someone we really know much about.  But, I don’t see much disruption in him leaving.

  • Reply 3 of 6
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,805unconfirmed, member
    Another Steve gone. Apple died with Steve.

    Really don't care who leaves as long as a better person replaces.
  • Reply 4 of 6
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,709member
    "I will always bleed six colors."  :) Love it! 
  • Reply 5 of 6
    dougddougd Posts: 292member
    He's obviously so filthy rich after 16 years at Apple he doesn't need the money.
  • Reply 6 of 6

    Sounds like typical employee turnover.  Good luck to him.

    Riiiiiiiight typical 16 year turnover. Happens all the time.

    I'm sure the rest of the mass exodus happening in the last 2 years is all typical too.
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