What you need to know

  • Apple's VP of communications Steve Dowling announced he's leaving the company after 5 years in the position.
  • Dowling has been with Apple for a total of 16 years.
  • Apple's Phil Schiller will step in to Dowling's role on an interim basis.

Apple's VP of communications Steve Dowling is leaving the company, according to a memo sent to staff this week (via Vox). Dowling was head of communications for the past five years and spent a total of 16 years at Apple.

Here's the memo, in part:

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.

Dowling has been with Apple through some of its biggest launches, including AirPods, iPhone X, and iPad Pro. Apple said of his departure:

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.

Apple's Phil Schiller will take over Dowling's duties on an interim basis. It's unclear who is being lined up to replace Dowling, but Vox's report said both internal and external candidates are being considered.

Dowling ends his memo by praising Apple and showing gratitude to CEO Tim Cook:

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.

Dowling's departure comes on the heels of a report that claimed Apple's leadership team is growing increasingly thinner amidst changes and employee growth. The source in the report said Apple's current leadership structure "doesn't look particularly effective."

Dowling's memo said he will be available through the end of October before Schiller takes over.

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