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Apple Music’s global head of consumer marketing, Bozoma Saint John, has resigned, sources tell Billboard, one of the highest-profile executives to leave Apple since it launched its streaming service two years ago.
The reason for her planned departure wasn’t immediately clear; Saint John didn’t respond to a request for comment, and Apple declined to comment. News that Saint John was planning to leave the company was first reported by Axios.
While insiders say they don’t expect Saint John’s departure to significantly hurt Apple Music on an operational level, her exit could be a loss for Apple’s image. Saint John, 40, is well-liked among her colleagues and one of the few high-ranking black female executives at the company. The details of her exit haven’t been worked out, a source tells Billboard.
Apple Music has racked up more than 20 million paying subscribers since Saint John was hired three years ago, lagging behind Spotify, which has more than 50 million paying subscribers. Star-studded marketing campaigns featuring Drake, Taylor Swift and Mary J. Blige, complemented by high-profile streaming exclusives with Drake, DJ Khaled, Chance the Rapper and Frank Ocean, among several others, boosted Apple’s subscriber base.
Most recently, Saint John had been transitioning into what she termed “music-adjacent” film projects featuring Harry Styles, Sean “Diddy” Combs (Can’t Stop Won’t Stop: A Bad Boy Story) and Clive Davis (Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives).
Earlier this year, Saint John and iTunes/Apple colleague Larry Jackson, head of original content, ranked No. 67 on Billboard’s Power 100 list. Two months prior, in December, Saint John was named Billboard’s 2016 Women in Music Executive of the Year.
Prior to joining Apple through Beats — which Apple acquired three months after she’d started at the latter company — Saint John spent three years as head of music and entertainment marketing at PepsiCo.