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.
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) April 10, 2023
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.