Apple Hires Stella Low, Formerly of Cisco, as New Communications Boss

John Paczkowski, reporting for BuzzFeed News:

Apple has hired a new vice president of worldwide corporate communications. Stella Low, former communications chief at networking giant Cisco, will take on the role, which has been unfilled since late 2019.

A tech industry veteran, Low has done stints at Unisys and Dell, where she served as senior vice president of communications. She’ll report directly to Apple CEO Tim Cook. […]

Low will succeed Steve Dowling, who served as Apple’s head of corporate public relations for 10 years before departing in September 2019. And her tenure will give a welcome break to Apple Fellow Phil Schiller, who has been overseeing the company’s public relations operation since Dowling left.

I’m sort of surprised they went outside, because it’s Apple. But also sort of not surprised because there didn’t seem to be any internal candidates contending for this gig. If they were going to fill this spot from within it wouldn’t have taken so long.

Jim Dalrymple:

The big question for someone at this level at Apple is not qualifications, but whether or not they fit the Apple culture. That will be her biggest hurdle — it starts and stops there.

Culture is always the issue at Apple for outsiders. Remember John Browett, who lasted only six months as chief of Apple Retail? His explanation: “I just didn’t fit within the way they ran the business. For me, it was one of those shopping things where you’re ejected for fit rather than competency.” Angela Ahrendts lasted five years in that role, but I never got the feeling that she ever quite jibed with Apple’s culture. Deirdre O’Brien — who’s been at Apple for decades and replaced Ahrendts as head of retail — feels like a natural.

Steve Dowling came to Apple after running CNBC’s Silicon Valley news bureau, but he was at Apple for 11 years (including 10 running corporate comms) before his five-year stint as PR chief. Dowling got Apple.

Friday, 7 May 2021