Beats president Luke Wood is stepping down at the end of this month, and Apple Music chief Oliver Schusser will be adding oversight of Beats hardware to his responsibilities, according to CNET.
Apple has not publicly announced the upcoming change, but Apple’s services chief Eddy Cue recently sent an email to Apple employees confirming it. Cue noted in his email that the transition has been in the works for a while and that Apple remains “committed to the Beats brand.”
The move has been in the works for a while, Cue said in his note to employees: “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.” […]
Cue wrote that he was sensitive to making a management change in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, remarking that “the timing of the announcement isn’t ideal.” However, the best thing for Beats is “to keep the business moving forward,” he said, affirming that Apple remains “committed to the Beats brand and the importance of maintaining its role firmly in the music portfolio.”
Wood officially joined Beats as president and chief operating officer in 2011, and has continued to oversee the Beats hardware business since Apple’s acquisition of Beats in 2014.
While Beats Music quickly transitioned to become Apple Music, Apple has kept the valuable Beats hardware brand separate so far, releasing several new and updated headphone models including Powerbeats, Powerbeats Pro, and Solo Pro in recent months.
Apple itself has, however, increasingly ventured into the headphone market with AirPods, AirPods Pro, and rumors of additional upcoming products including over-ear headphones that would directly compete with some of Beats’ higher-end flagship products.