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.

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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.

Apple confirmed the hire, offering the following statement: “Stella brings her remarkable experience and leadership to Apple’s world-class communications teams. Apple has an important story to tell — from the transformative products and services we make, to the positive impacts we have on our communities and the world — and Stella is a great leader to help us write the next chapter.”

Low will succeed Steve Dowling, who served as Apple’s head of corporate public relations for 10 years and VP of comms for 5 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.

Low’s hiring comes at a pivotal time for Apple. The company is currently locked in a pitched battle with Fortnite maker Epic Games over its App Store practices, and a war of words with Facebook, which has very publicly taken exception to recent privacy updates in its iOS operating system.

The company is also facing a tricky balancing act in China, its second-largest market, where much of its manufacturing takes place and where relations with the United States have been increasingly strained over trade and human rights issues.

Beyond this, the company just announced major overhauls of its iMac desktop computer and Apple TV set-top box, and is working on a virtual reality headset for possible launch in 2022.

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