Ask almost any professional writer who has covered the tech industry during the years from the 1990s dot-com boom to the Facebook-buying-drones-era what their most difficult assignment has been, and they’ll almost universally identify one of the most iconic companies in American history: Apple.
In the years following the second coming of Steve Jobs, which saw Apple ascend to heights the tech industry had never before seen, Apple’s public relations effort was viewed with equal parts awe, disdain, and outright hatred. It was led by Katie Cotton, an executive who was as much an extension of Jobs’ brain as famed designer Jony Ive.
Apple confirmed earlier this week that Cotton is retiring. The last time I saw Cotton, she was hurtling toward me with an outstretched arm, successfully trying to ruin a photo (from an iPhone, no less) of CEO Tim Cook chatting with former Microsoft executive Steve Sinofsky on…
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