After nearly two decades with Apple, VP of worldwide communications Katie Cotton is retiring to spend more time with her family. Re/code was first to report the news that the PR guru was leaving after 18 years. "This is very hard for me," wrote Cotton in email. "Apple is part of my heart and soul."
During the 2000s, a period of unprecedented growth for Apple, Cotton was the orchestrator behind several big launch events, including the iPhone and the iPad. As The Wall Street Journal puts it, "[Cotton's] public relations team aggressively controlled the message around new key products and maintained an air of mystery around the company and the brand." To the press, she was also the notoriously strict gatekeeper who could grant access to CEOs Steve Jobs and Tim Cook.
"Katie has given her all to this company for over 18 years," Apple spokesman Steve Dowling said in a statement. "She has wanted to spend time with her children for some time now. We are really going to miss her."