Katie Cotton: Power List 2011

VP, Worldwide Corporate Communications, Apple

Apple thrived this year despite more health problems for founder and communications icon Steve Jobs that resulted in him taking another sabbatical. He did make a brief reappearance recently to front the launch of iCloud, but the burden of driving Apple's communications has clearly fallen on the capable shoulders of his right-hand woman Katie Cotton, who has long been viewed as Jobs' "gatekeeper."

The Apple phenomenon is such that even when it made a snafu, which it did recently when a website went down unexpectedly, the public actually perceived it with excitement because they – rightly – viewed it as presaging a new product launch.

That's a powerful brand proposition, one Cotton has carefully cultivated while shunning mainstream communications techniques. As such, she merits a spot on this list – with or without her mentor.

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