Both successor John Janick and boss UMG Chairman/CEO Lucian Grainge paid tribute to Jimmy Iovine on his official exit from his post as head of Interscope Geffen A&M to Apple as the tech company today officially announced the $3 billion purchase of Beats Electronics.
Upon assuming Iovine’s role atop the labels, John Janick sent the following memo to his staff on his predecessor:
“I’m sure all of you have seen the news regarding Jimmy and Beats over the past few weeks, and have read today’s press release and the email message from Lucian. The companies have made it official and Jimmy will be leaving Interscope Geffen A&M upon closing of the Apple acquisition of Beats.
Jimmy’s impact on culture cannot be overstated. He has created an incredible company atInterscope Geffen A&M, and I’ve had the privilege of working with, and learning from, him since I started here in 2012. He has been an inspiration, and I cannot thank him enough for the opportunity he has given me.
The vision for this company has always been a straightforward one: find great artists and hire the best people in the business to work with them. Straightforward, but not necessarily easy to do. Beyond that, there have never been any rules at Interscope Geffen A&M: all three labels were founded with an entrepreneurial spirit, and it’s one that continues to this day. Different approaches, different opinions, and a different way of looking at things. Thinking of ideas others haven’t, and going out and doing them. These are things that Jimmy has inspired in all of us; concepts that I firmly believe in and intend on continuing and nurturing.
The music business has seen many changes over the last 10 years, and it’s an exciting time as we enter a new phase. I’ve seen the changes from both outside our company as well as within, and I’m confident we’re in the best possible position to take advantage of what lies ahead. We have an incredible roster of artists, really exciting new projects coming, and a team that I feel is without equal in the industry. 2013 was one of our most successful years on record, and everyone reading this had a hand in that. This is a remarkable place to work, and I thank you all for your continued commitment to our company and our artists.
Everyone should be proud of what Jimmy’s accomplished today, and of everything we continue to do with the company he founded here at Interscope. In addition, I would like to thank Lucian for his support and leadership, and for fostering an environment in which we are truly positioned to thrive. I’m honored to be able to guide our company into its next chapter, and to work alongside such extraordinarily talented people as we begin it.
Please join me in wishing Jimmy all the best on his new journey.”
Here is the text of Lucian Grainge’s statement:
“History teaches us that great entrepreneurs are few and far between. Jimmy Iovine is one of that small number of entrepreneurs who, by doing so much so well in so many different arenas, have left their indelible mark. He founded, and for more than 20 years, has ledInterscope, a label that has consistently been in the forefront of the music business, both artistically and commercially. He has put in place, developed and mentored a world-class management team there. At the same time, Jimmy co-founded Beats, a wildly successful, cutting-edge company that revolutionized how consumers listen to music, and from there went on to build a platform that is advancing the evolution of the access model for the entire music industry. Based on mutual trust and respect, UMG’s singular relationship with Jimmy permitted his innovation to flourish in all these ways. Together, we created a once-in-a-generation opportunity that allowed Jimmy to maximize the use of his many talents. In recent years, as Jimmy partnered with John Janick, one of the industry’s most talented and promising young executives, Interscope’s results have skyrocketed. We thank Jimmy for both the incomparable leadership he’s provided to Interscope and UMG and for the highly beneficial partnershipUMG has enjoyed with Beats. We wish Jimmy the very best and look forward to enhancing our partnerships with Apple and Beats for many years to come.”