It's official: Steve Dowling succeeds Katie Cotton as Apple's comms leader

The technology giant dropped the "interim" from Dowling's title this week.

CUPERTINO, CA: Apple named Steve Dowling VP of communications this week, dropping the "interim" from his title and making him the official replacement for Katie Cotton, who left the company last year.

Dowling, who became interim PR head in October, was promoted on Thursday, according to a source familiar with the matter. He succeeded Cotton, an 18-year Apple veteran and VP of worldwide corporate communications, who stepped down from the role in May 2014.

Reporting to Apple CEO Tim Cook, Dowling is responsible for the company’s worldwide media relations and communications strategy, leading the PR team, as well as employee communications and corporate events, according to a bio page on Apple’s website.

Dowling was not immediately available to comment on his new position.

He previously served as Apple’s senior director of corporate PR since he joined the company in 2003.

Earlier in his career, Dowling served as Silicon Valley bureau chief at CNBC. Before that, he was a producer for the station’s Washington bureau, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Last August, 9to5mac, a website dedicated to reporting on Apple, published results from a two-month investigation that claimed Cotton’s departure was likely a result of Cook’s "different vision for Apple’s future public-facing appearances."

The website also suggested that Cook was seeking candidates for the job who have "ties to world governments, expansive knowledge of labor-force regulations, a deep understanding of China’s economics and, of course, expertise in consumer technology and social media."

Re/code linked former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney to the role last summer, but he ended up at Amazon in February as SVP and head of global corporate affairs.

Dowling’s promotion comes after Apple Watch’s highly watched unveiling last month.

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