Jimmy Iovine, the music mogul who co-founded Interscope Records and Beats, the music service and electronics company that he and Dr. Dre sold to Apple for $3 billion in 2014, could be packing his bags.
The heavyweight U.S. exec is tipped to leave Apple Music in August, a move said to be timed to his Apple shares fully vesting. Speculation of his departure has been rumbling on since the turn of the year, though a new report in the Wall Street Journal introduces more detail on the situation.
Iovine, who serves as the public face of Apple’s streaming music activities, will transition into a consulting role in August, giving up his day-to-day duties.
When asked about those rumours back in January, Iovine told Variety, “The bottom line is I’m loyal to the guys at Apple. I love Apple, and I really love musicians. That’s why those articles annoyed me, because it had nothing to do with reality. It made it out to be all about money.”
Iovine and Dre became billionaires when they sold Beats Electronics to Apple, the Cupertino tech-giant’s biggest acquisition thus far. Iovine stayed on and, after August, he will work with Apple Senior Vice President Eddy Cue when required, according to U.S. reports.
Iovine, who has a long history with Apple, dating back to 2003 when he first pitched a subscription music service to Steve Jobs, is keen to spend more time with his family, sources tell the NY Post.
If he does leave Apple Music, he does so with the company in good shape. As of March 2018, Apple Music boasts 38 million subscribers, good enough for second place among all streaming services, behind Spotify with 71 million. Cue told guests at SXSW the company added two million new subs in the past month alone.