Apple Corps Ltd., the Beatles' company, has appointed Jeff Jones as chief executive officer after the departure of long-standing CEO Neil Aspinall.

Jones joins Apple Corps Ltd. from Legacy Recordings/Sony BMG Catalog Worldwide, where he was executive VP. He has 30 years' experience in the music business, and held the position of VP, marketing at MCA, the PolyGram Label Group and Elektra Entertainment.

It is unusual for an outsider to take such a senior position at Apple Corps, but Jones' experience is particularly relevant with The Beatles' back catalog set to be made available as digital downloads once an agreement is reached.

Jones has served with Sony Music since 1995, and played a key role in the Miles Davis re-issues series, which earned multiple Grammy awards, as well as catalog campaigns for artists such as AC/DC and Bob Dylan.

Aspinall worked with the Beatles for more than 45 years, starting out as their part-time road manager. He was a school friend of Paul McCartney and George Harrison at the Liverpool Institute.

In a statement, Apple Corps said that Aspinall "played an indispensable role" in the Beatles' career.

No further reasons were given for his departure from the record company, which is owned by Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono and the estate of George Harrison.

Apple Corps settled a trademark squabble with Apple two months ago, which paved the way for the Beatles' songs to be sold on iTunes.