It was reported back in January that Jimmy Iovine would be leaving Apple in August after the last of his stock vested. Iovine later denied this, describing it as fake news.

A fresh report today suggests that while he may not be actually departing from Apple, Iovine will ‘step back from daily involvement’ …

The WSJ carries the report today.

Apple is losing the public face of its music operations, just as its streaming service is finding its beat. Executive Jimmy Iovine will transition into a consulting role in August and step back from daily involvement with the company’s streaming-music business, according to people familiar with his plans […]

Mr. Iovine, a former producer of Stevie Nicks and U2 who founded Interscope Records, has told people close to him that he plans to spend more time with his family while supporting Apple Senior Vice President Eddy Cue, who oversees Apple Music, as needed, the people said.

The piece says that he isn’t the only big music name to step back from Apple Music.

Former Chief Executive Ian Rogers, Beats co-founder Dr. Dre and Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor, another top Beats executive, have all left or distanced themselves from the company since the Apple deal, people familiar with the business said.

There have been suggestions of culture clashes between Iovine and an increasingly corporate Apple. WSJ sources said that Iovine’s role was mostly artist relations, while two lesser-known execs effectively ran the business under Eddy Cue’s leadership.

Most of Apple Music’s operations were left to senior executives Robert Kondrk, who oversees the business of Apple Music and iTunes, and Jeff Robbin, who oversees the product and engineering teams, the people said.

Apple continues to rollout the beta of an ‘Apple Music for Artists‘ dashboard as it awaits regulatory approval for its Shazam acquisition.

Our take: Jimmy Iovine has played an important role in the launch of Apple Music, providing a combination of expertise, credibility and artist contacts. Now that the service is established, his most valuable role is arguably that of a figurehead and sometime consultant. Stepping back from active involvement would be a face-saving way of allowing Iovine to effectively cease his existing role without the PR hit of him actually leaving the company.

Photo: Jeff Chiu/AP

Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

Check out 9to5Mac on YouTube for more Apple news:

You’re reading 9to5Mac — experts who break news about Apple and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Mac on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author

Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

Ben Lovejoy's favorite gear