At the “It’s show time” event earlier this week, Apple CEO Tim Cook invited several new faces on stage to explain the company’s newfound Services push. One of those people was Peter Stern, Apple’s VP of Services. A new profile from Digiday sheds more light on Stern’s career and his role at Apple.
Stern joined Apple in 2016 after serving in various senior roles at Time Warner Cable. Last year, Eddy Cue put Stern in charge of business operations for Services. Since then, he has been the face of Apple’s negotiations with publishers, studios, and more.
In the Digiday report, one anonymous source described Stern as “very business-like, to the point, and professional,” while also remaining “well-liked and respected.”
Meanwhile, Gautam Mishra, publisher of premium news subscription service Inkl, said that Stern is not setting out to solve the major problems facing journalism through Apple News+. At one point, Mishra did discuss joining Apple News+ with Stern.
“He’s not trying to solve the long-term problems facing journalism. His view on this is that Apple has a firm view of how it wants to do things and what’s in the best interest of its customers,” Mishra said. “That takes primacy over things like sustainability, cannibalization.”
This sentiment was echoed by another anonymous source who has worked with Stern in the past. “He’s a company man,” the person said. “Peter is not the type to take on the plight of the publishers.”
Cheddar CEO Jon Steinberg praised Stern’s work ethic, saying that he’s one of the easiest contacts to work with. “I’d list him as one of my favorite partnership contacts,” Steinberg said. “Smart, direct, fast, delivers on what he promises.”
The Digiday profile makes it clear that Stern isn’t focused on saving the media industry, whether it’s publishing or video. Instead, he’s setting out to aggregate content that benefits Apple customers through deals that also benefit Apple as a company. This attitude, while not unexpected for a company executive, is unlikely to convince Apple News+ holdouts like The New York Times to join the service.
Stern made his on-stage debut at this week’s event, but it seems almost certain we’ll see him again as Apple continues to ramp up its focus on Services.
Read the full Digiday profile on Stern here.
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