Beats by Dre’s marketing guru bails on Apple

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Be cool. Stay in school.
Beats CMO is leaving the company.
Photo: Beats by Dre.

Omar Johnson, the Beats by Dre chief marketing officer that helped transform the headphone company from a gimmick to one of the most iconic brands in pop culture, is leaving the company next month.

During his time at Beats, Johnson and his marketing team created unique ads by collaborating with the world’s top athletes in every major sport to tell their real stories. Johnson didn’t give a reason for his departure, but Apple has confirmed he’s stepping down on November 1st.


In an email to FastCo, Beats co-founder Jimmy Iovine said, “Omar Johnson is a one of the most talented marketing executives I’ve ever met and we couldn’t have built Beats without him. He has my support in his future endeavor.”

Johnson was named CMO of Beats by Dre in 2012 after he joined the company in 2010 as the VP of marketing. It’s unclear what his plans are after leaving the Apple-owned company.

While some of Beats most popular ads during Johnson’s tenure featured the likes of Serena Williams, LeBron James, Richard Sherman and Luis Suarez, his team also created short documentaries shining the light on less popular sports and athletes.