Former White House Press Secretary Jay Carney is rumored to be in talks with Apple to become the new head of Public Relations. Will Carney become Apple’s new PR guy, or are these rumors way off base? Here’s what you need to know.
1. Jay Carney Is Rumored to Be in Talks With Apple
Rumors about Jay Carney taking a role at Apple started surfacing on July 14. On that date, Re/code about hire car company Uber happened to mention in passing that Jay Carney’s name was being “bandied about” in connection with Apple’s PR opening.
The possibility of Jay Carney joining Apple jives with earlier reports from 9to5Mac. Last month, the site reported that Apple was looking to hire an external candidate to fill the position.
2. There Are Conflicting Reports About Carney’s Possible Move
There are a number of conflicting reports about whether Apple is truly courting Jay Carney. Politico says that both Uber and Apple want Carney to join their organizations. In an email to Politico, Carney wrote: “I’m talking to a lot of people about a variety of possibilities. But I’m not commenting on specifics.”
However, the Loop says that the Apple-Carney rumor is bogus, and that “Tim Cook has never even met Jay Carney.”
That being said, Cult of Mac cites a friend of Carney’s who confirms that Carney has been approached by Apple.
However, a fresh report from Business Insider says Carney “fairly definitively” won’t join Apple.
3. Jay Carney Used to Work for the White House
Carney is a familiar face to anyone who follows the political scene in DC. Carney worked as the White House Press Secretary starting in 2011, and held the position until June of this year. Carney’s White House position was filled by current Press Secretary Josh Earnest.
4. Apple’s Head PR Position Has Been Vacant Since May
Apple’s previous PR head, Katie Cotton, stands next to Tim Cook in the image above.
Katie Cotton was with the company for nearly two decades. Cotton left the company in May of this year. Valley Wag referred to Cotton as “the Queen of Evil Tech PR.” In an article about her departure, Valley Wag wrote:
“Even at the end of Cotton’s reign, journalists are still in such a state of terror and awe they don’t dare speak openly about her reign of silence and smokescreen…
Katie Cotton’s tenure consisted of this cold distance from the tech press, presenting herself (and Apple) as an unfriendly, hermetically sealed monolith. She ignored calls, ignored emails, and even offered the vague promise of cordiality, only to yank away a possible meeting at the last moment. It was a commanding, charismatic meanness that helped cultivate Apple’s self-image of frigid supremacy.”
Apple has been rumored to be looking for a more friendly PR head in the wake of Katie Cotton’s departure.
5. Carney Is a Yale Alum
Carney is a Yale alum. Yale has a number of connections to Apple. Yale Scientific writes that Yale’s Mechanical Engineering Professor John Morrell left the school in 2012 to work for Apple. Additionally, Yale’s Dean Joel Podolny (who served as Dean of Yale University’s School of Management) left Yale to work for Apple. Perhaps with Apple’s past history of hiring people with Yale connections, the rumors about Carney moving to Apple aren’t so far-fetched.