Steve Jobs Biographer Predicts Transformative Role for Jimmy Iovine at Apple

2:00 PM PST 05/19/2014 by Roy Trakin
AP Images

Walter Isaacson says the Interscope Records founder could well run the company's content business.

Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson predicts that Jimmy Iovine will run Apple’s content business in an exclusive interview with Billboard’s Dan Lyons in this week’s magazine.

The entire story can be read at Billboard.biz here

With Apple reportedly about to acquire Iovine and Dr. Dre’s Beats Electronics for $3.2 billion, speculation about the pair taking senior roles at the company have run rampant.

Isaacson deals with the predictable outcry from members of the Apple faithful, but argues “a good shock may be exactly what Apple needs.”

He goes on to say, since Steve Jobs’ death three years ago, the company has “grown risk averse [and] its growth has stalled,” going on to say, “Tim Cook …is a smart number cruncher, but he’s no Jobs.”

PHOTOS: How Beats Electronics Came to Be Worth $3.2 Billion to Apple

Isaacson compares Iovine with Jobs, and finds the two have a lot in common. “[Their] success came not from family pedigree or an Ivy League school but from talent and chutzpah.”

Iovine was instrumental in helping Jobs persuade the five top music labels to sign on to the iTunes Store, and helped Apple broker a deal with U2 to create a special edition of the iPod.

Isaacson points out that, in his notes for Jobs’ bio, he has a comment from Iovine that back in 2002, he wanted the Apple chief to acquire Universal Music Group.

STORY: Apple May Appoint Beats' Dr. Dre, Jimmy Iovine to Senior Positions (Report) 

Isaacson believes the Apple-Beats deal is more about video, speculating that Cook wants Iovine to run Apple’s content business and help them launch the TV product analysts have been touting for years.  Isaacson suggests that Iovine has the “charisma and connections” to round up the networks the way he did the music labels back in 2002. “His track record of success in marrying content and tech gives that theory some weight.”

The writer concludes that this move is their way of “facing up to the fact that Jobs is truly gone and that their beloved Apple is about to become a very different company.”

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