Katie Cotton, the Steve Jobs-era vice president of global corporate communications, has died nearly a decade after leaving Apple.
Her death was flagged in various social media posts on Monday night as people mourned. The controversial public relations executive is known for handling confidential information about Steve Jobs’ products, scandals and health.
Cotton’s obituary says she died on April 6 and mentions her contributions to Apple and the community. She is survived by her children, Ethan and Isabelle Mimeles, life partner Jim Wells, mother, siblings and other family members.
Under Steve Jobs, she was considered one of Apple’s most powerful executives, responsible for orchestrating the culture of secrecy for which the company is now famous. Cotton retired from Apple in 2014 after 18 years at Apple.
Despite the controversy and secrecy surrounding Cotton’s tenure at Apple, she has proven to be an influential figure. By limiting press releases, Apple was able to create demand for news, making every piece of information from the company feel like a treasure to share.
This attitude has remained with the company to this day. While Apple has become more open with some information, it remains as secretive as ever about its executives and future product plans — something Katie Cotton pioneered.