Apple losing key operations exec in charge of TV+, TV app, and sports

Apple is losing another top executive in its Services business. Pete Distad, who leads the company’s Apple TV+ and sports businesses, is leaving the company later this month. This comes following the departure of Peter Stern, Apple’s vice president of Services, who left the company in January.

As reported by Bloomberg, Distad reports directly to Oliver Schusser, who leads the product road map and overall strategy for Apple TV+ as well as Apple Music. Apple’s entire Services business is overseen by longtime executive Eddy Cue.

At Apple, Distad is responsible for the “business and operations side of the Apple TV app and TV+ streaming service,” the report explains. The team overseen by Distad negotiated Apple’s first forays into live sports as well, including the company’s deals with Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer.

Distad joined Apple in 2013 after a stint at Hulu. Prior to focusing on Apple TV+ and sports, he was an Apple VP “in charge of marketing for the Apple TV set-top box.”

In his current role, Distad oversees the business and operations side of the Apple TV app and the TV+ streaming service, leading the company’s ambitious push into television shows, Hollywood movies and sporting events. His division negotiated deals with Major League Soccer and Major League Baseball and turned the Apple TV set-top box into a hub for video content — both from inside and outside the company.

Following Distad’s departure, Apple executive Jim DeLorenzo will take the lead of Apple’s sports business team. The company is “seeking a replacement for the TV business duties.” The Apple TV+ content teams are still led by Jamie Erlict and Zack Van Amburg, who joined Apple from Sony back in 2017.

In addition to Stern’s departure in January and Distad’s departure this month, Apple also lost Mike Abbott back in March. Abbott was responsible for Apple’s iCloud technology for things like iMessage and FaceTime. This week, GM announced that it has hired Abbott to take the lead on making in-car software for electric vehicles, following the automaker’s decision to abandon CarPlay.

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Naveen Kumar

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