Liz Schimmel, head of journalism for Apple's news aggregation and subscription services business, has recently stepped down from Apple after experiencing the launch of Apple News and the slow growth of its ensuing customer base. Citing people familiar with the matter on Tuesday, Mr. Schimmel recently resigned as Apple's "head of news business." Her departure comes less than a year after the launch of Apple News in March last year.
Apple is seeking to replace simel with a "celebrity" from the publishing world, according to the report.
The executive's departure comes as Apple looks to strengthen its fledgling service business. Apple News is a major pillar of the company's service business strategy, along with other relatively newer service products such as Apple Music and Apple TV. Other services businesses include traditional products such as iCloud, iTunes and Books.
Apple News launched in 2015 and was originally a free first-party news aggregator for iOS. Apple's $10-a-month news subscription service debuted last year, backed by a number of well-known U.S. publications. However, Apple has failed to reach agreements with several other well-known newspapers that offer their own paid subscriptions.
Apple News has failed to attract large numbers of new users in the past few months after what was then called an impressive release, according to a November report. In addition to the slow growth, publishers involved in the service complained of lower-than-expected revenue, an issue that Apple has been working on since last June.
Apple is reluctant to reveal precise subscription numbers for its various services businesses, but rather offers vague indicators and hollow cliches. Chief executive Tim Cook said in an earnings call last week that Apple's news services business "attracted more than 100 million monthly active users in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada," without reporting specific subscriber numbers or revealing how many publishers were involved in a paid version of the service.