Apple’s Beats has installed marketing industry veteran Chris Thorne as its new chief marketing officer, “effective immediately,” the company announced on Monday.
NBA player James Harden, paid to wear the Beats Studio3 Wireless.
“In his career, Chris has shouldered an extensive roster of brands that amplify his invaluable experience in marketing, business management, brand growth and creative development,” said Beats president Luke Wood in a written statement.
Thorne is replacing Jason White, who left for Cura Cannabis Solutions earlier in 2019. The former is noted to have over 15 years of experience, with credits including CSMG Sports, games publisher Electronic Arts, and wellness vendor The Honest Company. Most recently he was the “chief growth officer” with Forward, a primary healthcare business.
“Beats not only sits at the cross-cultural intersection of music, technology and sports, but it has defined the niche as a category in such a short time,” Thorne said in his own prepared quote. “The brand continues to dominate cultural conversation, and I’m excited to join the team and contribute to its successes.”
Beats was co-founded by music producer Jimmy Iovine and rapper/producer Dr. Dre. The company has leveraged this to manufacture an image as a fashion and status symbol, for instance paying to insert its headphones into music videos, as well as secure sponsorships with sports stars like Houston Rockets baller James Harden.
Thorne’s language suggests that he will continue the same strategy, though Beats has tried to win over more audiophiles with products like the Powerbeats Pro. Prior to Apple’s $3 billion takeover in 2014, Beats was often criticized for over-emphasizing bass.
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