9to5Mac has learned that Apple’s iTunes chief Eddy Cue has been promoted to Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services, reporting directly to Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple. Cue, 47, will also serve on Apple’s executive management team. The change has been communicated internally via Tim Cook’s email message to employees, enclosed below. Also, Apple’s PR beat Cue, whose LinkedIn profile still lists his old role, by updating his public bio page on the company’s site to reflect the change.
Interestingly, Cue is now responsible for Apple’s iAd division which has been struggling since its promising launch in the summer of 2010, culminating with the resignation of Apple’s former vice president of mobile advertising Andy Miller earlier this month. In fact, Eddy Cue is now in control of Apple’s entire cloud-based operation that encompass the iTunes Store, App Store, iBookstore and iCloud services, the CEO wrote in his email message. Here’s Cook’s email to troops:
Team, It is my pleasure to announce the promotion of Eddy Cue to Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services. Eddy will report to me and will serve on Apple’s executive management team.
Eddy oversees Apple’s industry-leading content stores including the iTunes Store, the revolutionary App Store and the iBookstore, as well as iAd and Apple’s innovative iCloud services.
He is a 22-year Apple veteran and leads a large organization of amazing people. He played a major role in creating the Apple online store in 1998, the iTunes Music Store in 2003 and the App Store in 2008.
Apple is a company and culture unlike any other in the world and leaders like Eddy get that. Apple is in their blood. Eddy and the entire executive management team are dedicated to making the best products in the world that delight our customers and make our employees incredibly proud of what they do.
Please join me in congratulating Eddy on this significant and well-deserved promotion. I have worked with Eddy for many years and look forward to working with him even closer in the future.
Fast Company last year ranked Cue the second most creative person in their annual list of creatives. They wrote:
Steve Jobs may own the limelight, but Eddy Cue, 46, holds the key to the Apple kingdom. Cue runs arguably the most disruptive 21st-century Web businesses: iTunes and the App Store, the latter of which is poised to create a $4 billion app economy by 2012. The unassuming Cue shot up through Apple’s ranks in the late ’80s, going from desktop support to Hollywood power broker, cutting deals for movies and music. Cue’s next campaign will be challenging Amazon’s Kindle dominance, with the Cupertino cocktail of the iPad and the iBook store.
This promotion couldn’t have come sooner, if history is anything to go by. On July 9, 2008, Apple launched MobileMe, a re-branded version of the .Mac online service with a prettier interface sporting rich web apps which mimicked the appearance of desktop software. The new service quickly turned into a nightmare due to outages and unreliable and slow performance. It was so bad that The Wall Street Journal columnist Walt Mossberg dismissed it as “a dud”, while the media re-christened MobileMe as MobileMess. The debacle had tarnished the Apple brand and served to prove the company had only begun dipping their toes into online services. Apple’s decision to put Eddy Cue in charge of MobileMe helped sort things out and gave the rising executive a chance to shine as it had been generally accepted that he could sort out the MobileMe mess – which he did pretty well.
With all eyes on the iCloud launch this Fall, Apple will be testing the limits of its $1 billion North Carolina data center because iCloud will likely host the more than 200+ million customers who use iPads, iPods, iPhones and Mac/PC machines. Also, remember that Apple is rumored to be working on its own mapping and other services meant to reduce their dependency on the Google back-end. It’s going be a lot of work and making a big name responsible for it is a good step.
Additional reporting by Mark Gurman.