Apple Corps – the record label for the Beatles, which was last year embroiled in a dispute with Apple over the use of the Apple trademark – has lost its CEO.

Neil Aspinall, a close friend of the Beatles, having attended school with members of the band, was sometimes described as the “fifth member of the Beatles”.

Aspinall, who is 64 years-old, gave no reasons for his departure other than that: "He has decided to move on."

Aspinall will be replaced as the head of Apple Corps by Jeff Jones, who had been at SonyBMG since 1995, reports the NME.

One of Jones’ first moves may be to release the Beatles music online, a move that the Beatles label has shunned in the past.

Apple Inc (the computer company) and Apple Corp (the record label) recently announced that they had put their differences behind them.