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Apple exec Ian Rogers, the main brain behind Beats1 radio, departs

The tech giant loses the executive who built the Beats1 radio channel, the most lauded feature of the Apple Music subscription streaming-music service.

Ian Rogers (from left), Dr. Dre, Jimmy Iovine and Luke Wood worked together at Beats, which Apple scooped up last year.

Don MacCathy/London Ent/Splash/Splash News/Corbis

Apple executive Ian Rogers, a veteran of Beats Music who led the development of Apple Music's Beats1 radio channel, is leaving the company.

The Financial Times first reported the departure on Friday, citing unnamed sources who said he is heading to an unspecified Europe-based company in an unrelated industry.

Apple confirmed to CNET that Rogers is leaving.

With Rogers' exit, Apple is losing a key exec instrumental to Beats1, the most praised feature of the streaming-music subscription service known as Apple Music.

Just two months old, Apple Music is the technology giant's belated entry in the market of subscription streaming music, which is growing rapidly while digital song downloads have begun to flag. Beats1, a live radio channel with high-profile DJs playing the same music online simultaneously to listeners anywhere, has been the hit of Apple Music, which was otherwise marred by some complaints that the software to install it messed with customers' music libraries.

After Apple purchased Beats last year for $3.3 billion, the company installed Rogers as the head of iTunes Radio, its service that generated individualized playlists of music similar to Pandora. In the development and introduction of Apple Music, Rogers led Beats1.