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Apple Vice President of Communications Steve Dowling leaving in October

Apple's Steve Dowling

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

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.