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Apple’s Beats by Dre Taps Chris Thorne as Chief Marketing Officer

Todd Spangler

Beats by Dr. Dre, Apple’s audio-products subsidiary, announced Chris Thorne — whose past gigs have included stints at EA and Jessica Alba’s The Honest Co. — as its chief marketing officer.

Thorne takes on the CMO role after the departure earlier this year of Jason White, formerly Beats’ EVP and global head of marketing, who left to join cannabis-oil provider Cura Cannabis Solutions as CMO.

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Thorne, who reports to Beats president Luke Wood, oversees global marketing efforts including developing integrated marketing campaigns across all channels and promoting the Beats brand through pop-cultural experiences.

Beats by Dre was founded in 2006 by Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine and launched with a line of premium consumer headphones and earphones. Apple completed the $3 billion acquisition of Beats in July 2014. This summer, Beats is set to begin shipping Powerbeats Pro, Apple’s first totally wireless Beats earphones, with a list price of $250.

“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,” Wood said in announcing Thorne’s hire. “With our highest-quality product portfolio to date, our team continues to grow rapidly across the globe.”

Thorne most recently was chief growth officer at Forward, a health membership startup that combines access to a personal doctor with medical technology. Prior to joining Forward in 2017, he was CMO for two years at Alba’s Honest Co. consumer-products firm. He worked at Electronic Arts from 2010-15, where he most recently was VP, global marketing, media and mobile acquisition. He began his executive career as president of sports representation firm CSMG Sports and was GM of social gaming at FanIQ.

Thorne commented, “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. The brand continues to dominate cultural conversation, and I’m excited to join the team and contribute to its successes.”

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