Possibly bad news for you Beatles lovers: Neil Aspinall has stepped down from his role of CEO at The Beatles’ label, Apple Corps. Neil was also a close friend of the group and commonly referred to as “the fifth Beatle”.

A not-so-eloquent explanation of why Aspinall left was given: “He has decided to move on.” We do know, however, who will be taking his place at the reins of Apple Corps: Jeff Jones, a Sony BMG executive. Jones said that his new job was “a dream come true” and “incredibly challenging and exciting”.

Now, the question for us is, will this affect when we’ll see The Beatles’ catalog on iTunes? It was generally assumed that Neil Aspinall was against releasing the band’s music online, even though, according to Blogging Stocks, “his position obviously had changed in the last couple of years”. Richard Driver speculates about Aspinall’s departure:

Perhaps Aspinall’s reluctance to take the catalog digital was a factor and despite what appeared to have changed in the last few years was in fact bowing to pressure from EMI and the market. It’s just a guess, but it seems plausible. At the same time, it could just be that he is tired of the responsibility. That too is certainly understandable.

What’s certain is that Jeff Jones will now be the one overlooking the arrival of the group’s catalog to online music stores. Let’s hope it won’t take him too long to make it happen.

This blog first appeared on our sister site, Mac User, US (www.macuser.com).