Although there are well-qualified internal candidates including Steve Dowling and Nat Kerris, Apple is also looking outside the company. Sources tell Re/code that Tim Cook is looking for a friendlier face.
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.
Looking to a friendlier outsider instead of a veteran groomed under Jobs would be seen as a major shift in the company's public relations strategy. There are also concerns that Apple could lose some of its current public relations team if it hires someone new.