Apple senior vice president of software engineering Craig Federighi introduced Dr. Dre as a company employee via telephone during the keynote presentation at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference. “What time should I show up for work?” asked the hip-hop producer/entrepreneur, joking that he wanted to arrive at the company’s campus in the morning before early-arriving CEO Tim Cook.
“New employee orientation starts at 9:00, and you don’t want to miss the free t-shirt,” Federighi told Dre in a tongue-in-cheek conversation. The company did not announce a job title for Dre.
Apple acquired Beats Electronics and Beats Music, founded by Dre and former Interscope CEO Jimmy Iovine, for $3 billion in a deal announced last week. Dre’s equity stake in Beats was believed to be worth several hundred million dollars, though the exact amount hasn’t been made public.
Iovine was not introduced, and neither Federighi, Cook, nor any other presenter mentioned Beats by name during the presentation. Iovine has joined Apple as part of the deal, however, as has Beats Music CEO Ian Rogers and chief creative officer and Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor. A report surfaced over the weekend suggesting that Reznor had left the company, but both Beats and Reznor have confirmed that he will remain with Beats under Apple’s ownership.
The brief telephone exchange with Dre was part of a demonstration of Apple’s desktop-based calling system, one of many new features of its newly updated operating system OS X Yosemite. The Cupertino, Calif.-based company also introduced iOS 8, the newest version of its mobile and tablet operating system.
“Hey, Doctor, you’re on speaker phone via my Mac,” Federighi said shortly after Dre picked up. “We all want to welcome you to Apple.”
“I love a big audience,” Dre replied. “I want to thank everyone there for creating such amazing apps.”
The new Mac-based phone calling system features desktop caller ID, integrated with incoming calls to a nearby iPhone. Federighi dialed Dre directly from a Mac onstage, using it as a speaker phone.
For the iOS 8 update, Apple revealed the integration of song-recognition service Shazam, including functionality within the Siri voice-response system. A tie-up with Shazam had been rumored for months.