Island Def Jam CEO Lyor Cohen has accepted a top position at Edgar Bronfman’s newly acquired Warner Music Group.
Cohen, to head Warner’s North American operations, worked with Bronfman before Universal was sold to French owned Vivendi. Cohen spent 21 years at Def Jam.
“I have been presented with an extraordinary opportunity to continue growing my career,” Cohen told the Associated Press. “I know everybody is encouraging me to take the next step in my career.”
Cohen said that he would not be taking any other executives from Def Jam with him.
“As far as I’m concerned, there’s a bunch of breaking artists at the companies,” Cohen continued. “The executives need to focus on that company and do a good job for them.”
It is reported that Universal is pursuing L.A. Reid to replace Cohen. Reid was recently let go after holding the top position at Arista.
Warner’s current roster include Madonna, Missy Elliot, Kid Rock, Stained, Metallica and others.
Cohen was given an equity stake in Def Jam during his tenure, which he and business partner Russell Simmons sold to Universal for $130 million in 1999.
“Lyor Cohen runs things in a way that the other guys can’t,” Simmons said. “When most people throw money at things, Lyor throws creativity. His vision is just different. You have to find new ways to do things. You have to be creative. The whole business needs to be revamped and Lyor knows how to do this and that’s why this new job is perfect for him.”
Universal said that it would announce plans for Island Def Jam shortly.
Source: All Hip Hop