Jimmy Iovine has vehemently denied reports that he is leaving Apple later this year.
In an interview with Variety, the 64-year-old Iovine said that he is, “committed to doing whatever Eddy [Cue], Tim [Cook] and Apple need me to do, to help wherever and however I can, to take this all the way. I am in the band.” He described the recent report about his possible departure as “fake news.”
Iovine says he’s going nowhere — although Apple Music is
“My contract is up in August, but the funny thing is, I don’t have a contract,” he said. “I have a deal, and certain things happen along that deal. 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.”
A report by Billboard this month said that Iovine’s departure will happen later this year, timed with his Apple shares fully vesting.
“All this stuff you’re seeing in the newspapers, let me tell you, my stock vested a long time ago. We need Donald Trump here to call it ‘fake news’,” Iovine told Variety, setting the record straight. Iovine said that he doesn’t see himself “at 75-years-old running around doing music,” and noted that, “eventually I’ll be slowing down,” but says that in the meantime he is, “committed to getting streaming right.”
Iovine joined Apple in 2014 when it acquired Beats, the brand Iovine co-founded in 2008. Before this, Iovine and Dre had a close relationship with Steve Jobs and Apple, before branching off into streaming music, which proved to be the impetus for the Apple acquisition. He has been the driving force in launching and growing Apple Music.
“I … have been with Apple for four years, and in 2 1/2 years the [Apple Music] service has gotten to well over 30 million subscribers and Beats has continued its successful run,” Iovine told Variety. “But there’s still a lot more we’d like to do.”
When Iovine and Dre’s Apple shares vest they will likely pay in the region of $700 million.