Music executive Barry Weiss has officially stepped down as CEO of Island Def Jam Music Group after spending three years as the top man at the company. Weiss replaced Antonio "L.A." Reid back in 2011, who left to become a judge on Simon Cowell's television show The X Factor.
That isn't even the biggest news here though. Universal Music Group, the parent label of IDJMG, has "dissolved" the company into its three original record labels: Def Jam, Island, and Motown. Since 2011, each one of these labels were operating under the umbrella of IDJMG. That will no longer be the case.
What this means is a whole lot of movement within each record label. Steve Bartels, former president/COO of IDJMG, will now serve as the CEO of Def Jam, while No I.D. and Kyambo “Hip Hop” Joshua have been named as executive vice presidents and co-heads of A&R for the label. Motown has promoted Ethiopia Habtemariam to president of the label. She previously served as senior vice president. Motown will also be moving its headquarters from New York to Los Angeles. One name that stays put is David Massey, who keeps his title as president of Island Records.
"At UMG, our labels are empowered to be entrepreneurial and take creative risks," Lucian Grainge, CEO of UMG says. "By re-establishing Def Jam, Island and Motown as standalone labels within the UMG family, we’re positioning them to recapture the uniqueness of their brands and serve artists with the singularity of vision, focus and creativity that was at the core of their original success."
One more notable move will be taking place, and it's in Grainge's backyard. IDJMG A&R executive Karen Kwak has been named executive vice president of A&R for Universal Music Group. As for Barry Weiss, he's entered "into discussions with UMG about a new venture together."