Apple Music and iTunes Europe head of music Neil West has moved on from his position, Music Week can reveal.
Music Week understands that West is now heading up apps, games and music for the company in Southern Europe.
One of the most influential retail gatekeepers in the UK and European biz, West has been instrumental in steering the company’s music business in recent years, shaping the offering of Apple Music and establishing iTunes as one of the UK’s biggest music retailers.
Apple declined to comment when approached by Music Week, but sources at the company have confirmed the move.
A replacement for West has yet to be announced.
Last month, the company revealed that its Apple Music service had reached 15 million subscribers, as it continues to grow its streaming business. Having previously been dominant in the music downloads market, Apple has made a concerted effort to ramp up its streaming offering.
The company recently became embroiled in a war of words with Spotify after its market-leading rival accused Apple of anticompetitive behaviour, with Spotify head of comms and public policy Jonathan Prince stating that Apple want to “have their cake and eat everyone else’s too.” He also criticised Apple for not allowing Spotify to alert its users to the fact that they could sign up for premium Spotify features outside of the App Store.
Apple's Bruce Sewell responded by saying: “Since joining the App Store in 2009, Apple’s platform has provided you [Spotify] with over 160 million downloads of your app, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars in incremental revenue to Spotify. That’s why we find it troubling that you are asking for exemptions to the rules we apply to all developers, and are publicly resorting to rumours and half-truths about our service.”