Steve Dowling: Power List 2015

VP, communications, Apple

2015 rank: 5
2014 rank: NA

By Tim Dyson, CEO, Next Fifteen Communications Group

If anyone thought Apple would suffer when Katie Cotton retired as head of communications in fall 2014, they didn’t know her successor was not only ready to take on the role, but also to ramp PR up a notch.

Since officially being appointed head of communications for the tech behemoth in April, Steve Dowling’s communications challenges include having an openly gay CEO in Tim Cook, something still unusual in this country that could easily have been an unnecessary distraction for the company. Instead, Dowling and his team navigated the issue flawlessly.

On the product side, the brand recently shipped the Apple Watch after launching it last September. The company isn’t known for long delays between product announcements and rollouts, but the two events couldn’t have gone much better.

Under his leadership, Apple is slightly more willing to talk on a broader level than just products. This reflects its change in leadership, but also that Dowling is very much in control of comms and helping Apple navigate its position as the world’s most valuable company.

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