Intrigue Regarding Katie Cotton’s Successor

John Paczkowski:

And though there are at least two well-qualified internal candidates for the job — comms veterans Steve Dowling and Nat Kerris — Apple is also looking outside the company for Cotton’s replacement. Sources in position to know tell Code/red that CEO Tim Cook is overseeing the search, aiming to find some high-profile external candidates for consideration. And he’s paying particular attention to those he believes could put a friendlier, more approachable face on Apple’s public relations efforts. Hardly surprising, as VP of comms is a position that reports directly to Cook, and he obviously wants to put the best person he possibly can into it. But interesting nonetheless, as passing over a pair of veterans groomed under company co-founder Steve Jobs for an outsider could herald a big shift in Apple’s PR strategy and its comms team.

I find this intriguing on two levels:

  1. Who from the outside might Tim Cook bring in, and what changes would they make?

  2. Who is Paczkowski’s source for this story? Surely there are only a few people in a position to know this. Either Tim Cook wanted this leaked, or, someone leaked this against Cook’s wishes. Either way it’s intriguing. The only reason I can think of why Cook would want this leaked is to cast a wider net for candidates — to spread the word that he’s at least considering hiring an outsider. Or, I suppose, to preempt the inevitable gossip once he does start interviewing candidates.

Update: A third level that I’ve been thinking about all day, succinctly expressed by Daniel Jalkut on Twitter:

@gruber Isn’t it also intriguing that after so many years of top-level service, Cotton didn’t stick around to hire a successor?

Or that she left before WWDC, instead of after.

Monday, 9 June 2014