Apple Music chief Oliver Schusser is taking the top post at Beats headphones, replacing longtime Beats president Luke Wood, a source close to the situation confirms to Variety.
Schusser will also continue to run Apple Music and International Content, reporting to Apple senior VP Eddy Cue. The move will take place at the end of the month; the news was first reported by CNET.
The news has not been officially announced by Apple, but Cue informed employees about the change in an email earlier this month, according to CNET. The move has been in the works for some time, Cue said in the note. “In the last year, Luke Wood told me about his desire to do something new. I appreciated the heads up so that it allowed us to plan for this transition.”
Wood was a longtime A&R executive at Geffen, DreamWorks and Interscope before gradually transitioning to Beats, which was cofounded and run by then-Interscope chief Jimmy Iovine. After selling Beats to Apple in 2014 for a whopping $3 billion, Iovine took a senior role at Apple Music before retiring in 2018.
Schusser, a 15-year Apple veteran, ran the company’s international content divisions before taking over Apple Music. “Since taking on the Apple Music business a little over a year ago, Apple Music has achieved steady growth under Oliver’s leadership,” Cue wrote. “He’s passionate about music and the Beats brand. He’s equally passionate about building a strong, collaborative culture with his team.”
Cue noted that the timing of the move “isn’t ideal,” given the coronavirus pandemic, but said the goal is to “keep the business moving forward,” adding that Apple remains “committed to the Beats brand and the importance of maintaining its role firmly in the music portfolio.”