Last week, Billboard reported Jimmy Iovine, the person who sold Beats to Apple in 2014, was set to leave Apple in August. Well, Iovine says that’s not true, Variety reports.
In a conversation with Variety, Iovine noted that there’s more Apple Music and Beats would like to do, saying he’s “committed to doing whatever Eddy [Cue], Tim [Cook] and Apple” need him to do to “take this all the way.” He added, “I am in the band.”
There was some speculation, per Billboard, that an August departure would have been timed with Iovine’s shares fully vesting. But Iovine said his “stock vested a long time ago.” He later elaborated in an interview following a screening of “The Defiant One” that “there is a tiny portion of stock that vests in August, but that’s not what I think about,” he said.
The bottom line for Iovine is that he’s “loyal to the guys at Apple,” he said. “I love Apple, and I really love musicians.”
In May 2014, Apple paid $3 billion ($2.6 billion in cash and $400 million in stock) for the headphone maker and streaming music service. As part of the deal, Iovine and Beats co-founder Dr. Dre joined Apple as employees. Iovine previously co-founded Interscope Records and has been involved in the production of more than 250 albums.
While at Apple, Iovine has helped develop and grow Apple Music since its launch in 2015. Under Iovine’s leadership, Apple Music moved into video and original programming. Apple Music currently has 30 million subscribers, while Spotify has 70 million subscribers.
Moving forward, Iovine said he plans to “help streaming come to scale.”