Rubin, 44, cofounded Def Jam in 1982.
He later teamed with Russell Simmons in 1984 as a student at New York University and the two produced early recordings by Def Jam artists like LL Cool J, Public Enemy, The Beastie Boys and others.
Rubin and American produced a number of critically acclaimed albums by artists like The Geto Boys, Johnny Cash, Slayer, Neil Diamond, the Jayhawks, Black Crowes, Danzig and others.
“Having the opportunity to work with Steve [Barnett] and Rob [Stringer] to help create what we hope will be the new model for the music business of the future is going to be a fun and exciting adventure,” Rubin said in a statement.. “And you have to give them a lot of credit for having the vision to enlist a music maker instead of a more traditional choice.”
Rubin will bring American Recordings to Columbia, which originally distributed the Def Jam imprint. American's catalog include records by Johnny Cash, Slayer, Neil Diamond, The Black Crowes, Danzig, The Jayhawks and others.
Rubin will produce and develop artists for Sony BMG and will also continue to produce artists signed to Warner Bros.
Last year, Rubin set a record for the most Grammy's won by a record Producer in a single night, when he took home five awards, including Producer of the Year.