One of Apple’s top music executives, who joined in last year’s Beats Music acquisition, is already leaving.
Ian Rogers—the former Beats Music CEO who led the creation of Beats1, Apple’s well-received streaming radio service—is “leaving the west coast to work for a Europe-based company in an unrelated industry,” the Financial Times reports (paywall). An Apple rep confirmed Rogers’ departure to Quartz, but did not comment further.
“Rogers’ departure is surprising to people in and outside of Apple,” Re/Code’s Peter Kafka writes, citing an Apple colleague as saying, “This was his dream job.”
It is not unprecedented for startup executives to leave big, acquiring companies after their product “ships.” Siri co-founder Dag Kittlaus, for example, left Apple in late 2011, just after Siri launched on the iPhone 4S.
But Rogers’—and Beats Music’s—work at Apple is hardly anywhere near done.
When Apple Music launched in June, it was meant to be Apple’s grand entry into subscription-based streaming music—seen by many as the logical successor to the song-download business dominated by Apple’s iTunes store. Apple Music has drawn more than 11 million trial users—respectable, though not overwhelming—and Beats1 is perceived as a smart, if contrarian, feature.
But the service has many issues to iron out, from a convoluted design to the basic concept of convincing people to pay for streaming music when they’re used to doing it for free. Now Apple will have to chase Spotify and YouTube without one of its more visible executives.