Jimmy IovineImage: FILMMAGIC/GETTY IMAGESBy Kerry Flynn2018-03-21 14:09:26 UTC
Apple Music will lose one of its biggest stars this year.
Jimmy Iovine, the music industry veteran who produced albums for U2 and Stevie Nicks and cofounded Interscope Records, will step down from his role at Apple in August, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Iovine joined Apple in 2014 after the tech giant bought Beats Electronics for $3 billion. He isn’t completely leaving the band behind, but he’s stepping back from the day to day work and will take on more of a consulting role, according to the report.
Billboard also reported back in January that Iovine had planned to leave Apple in August. It’s conveniently timed to when his Apple shares are fully vested, according to the story. And yet, Iovine denied those rumors of his departure shortly thereafter.
Iovine told Variety:
“I am almost 65, have been with Apple for four years and in 2 1/2 years the [Apple Music] service has gotten to well over 30 million subscribers and Beats has continued its successful run. But there’s still a lot more we’d like to do. I am committed to doing whatever Eddy [Cue], Tim [Cook] and Apple need me to do, to help wherever and however I can, to take this all the way. I am in the band.”
Although his conversation, speaking at the Grammy Museum for a screening of the Grammy-nominated HBO documentary “The Defiant Ones” did hint at lessening his role and responsibilities:
“The next chapter, whatever intensity I’m working, will be to help streaming come to scale.”
Iovine helped Apple grow its music streaming service and become more of a competitor in the music industry. Apple Music is on track to overtake Spotify in the number of U.S. subscribers.
But sources speaking to the WSJ questioned whether Apple Music’s success has really been Iovine’s influence or the dominance of Apple as a phone maker. Iovine oversaw the creations of Beats headphones, but now Apple is working on its own speakers with AirPods, HomePod, and planned over-the-ear headphones. At Apple, he helped lead the company’s push into original video content, which has had its stumbling blocks.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.