Look for Jimmy Iovine to leave Apple Music in August.
The former Interscope CEO joined Apple in 2014 after selling Beats, the music service and electronics business that he and Dr. Dre co-founded, to the tech giant for $3 billion. It is believed his departure is timed to his Apple shares fully vesting, sources tell Billboard. Apple declined to comment. Hits Daily Double first reported the news.
Iovine’s ties to Apple go back to 2003 when he first met Apple founder Steve Jobs and exec Eddy Cue, and was a key proponent of Apple’s iTunes and iPod.
Apple Music, Apple’s subscription streaming service, has expanded to more than 30 million paying subscribers since its June 2015 launch. That success is, in part, due to Iovine’s focus on content, including developing original programming.
Iovine and Dre moved into the consumer electronics space with Beats by Dre headphones in 2008. In 2012, they bought struggling music streaming service MOG and expanded that into subscription-based Beats Music before selling the entire company to Cupertino, California, -based Apple. Iovine and Dre’s relationship was chronicled in HBO’s four-part documentary, The Defiant Ones.
When asked what he planned to do after Apple Music, Iovine told Billboard in a September interview that he was focused for the time being on bringing music streaming up to speed. Disputing a Goldman Sachs report that predicted subscription steaming would propel the global record business to $41 billion by 2030, he said, “I’m 64 years old. I have no idea [what I’m doing next]. There’s just a problem here that needs some sort of solution, and I want to contribute to it. Goldman Sachs may think it’s solved, but I don’t. We’re not even close.”
It is unclear whether Apple might replace Iovine, who never took a specific title at the company.