iPod inventor leaves Apple after eight years

The idea of a portable player and online store working smoothly together was perhaps one of the more revolutionary ideas of recent years, one that has resulted in big changes to both the consumer electronics and music industries.

Fadell was previously a senior executive at Philips, before he had his big idea and went to Apple, who backed it.

Some had speculated that Fadell could be in the running to succeed Steve Jobs as Apple CEO, although for some time Tim Cook has been seen as the front runner to take over if and when Jobs steps down.

Fadell was also part of the team that developed the iPhone.