In the latest music industry news Universal Music Group, a record company that sells almost 40 percent of the world’s music, made a series of structural changes on Tuesday, splitting up one of its major divisions and displacing Barry Weiss, the former Sony executive who was brought in three years ago to run the company’s East Coast operations. Island Def Jam Motown group will be broken into three separate labels. The restructuring will lead to some promotions for key executives. Steve Bartels will now serve as the CEO of Def Jam.
David Massey will continue to hold the top position at Island and The label will add its own marketing, publicity and A&R departments.
Motown is set to relocate to Los Angeles headed by Ethiopia Habtemariam. As for Barry Weiss, who previously served as chairman and CEO of East Coast Labels, will step down “in order to enter into discussions with UMG about a new venture together.”
The reason for the restructure boils down to this quote made by Universal chairman Lucian Grainge: “The fact is: No matter how much we might work to build ‘Island Def Jam’ as a brand, that brand could never be as powerful as each of IDJ’s constituent parts,”