Ian Rogers, current Apple executive and former CEO of Beats Music (before its acquisition and transition by Apple), is leaving the Cupertino, Ca.-based tech giant. The news was first reported by the Financial Times early this morning (Aug. 28). Apple confirmed the move to Billboard. The jump is a surprising transition for a lifelong fan and music technology innovator — Financial Times reports the exit “caught colleagues off guard.”
Rogers was previously the general manager of Yahoo! Music before being named CEO of Topspin, an artist-to-fan marketing and sales platform, which he oversaw the sale of that company’s core technology to Beats for integration into its still-in-development streaming service — now Apple Music.
According to Financial Times sources, Rogers will be taking a job in Europe in an unrelated industry. Rogers was key to the development of the popular Beats 1 radio, as well as drawing Beats 1’s leader Zane Lowe away from his position at the BBC (which caused a bit of a trickle-down effect).
Top Apple executive Eddy Cue told USA Today earlier this month that Apple Music had drawn 11 million users and that its was maintaining a 79 percent retention rate on those signups (that last number was released in response to a critical article from the The Verge on the service’s performance).
Rogers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.