SANTA MONICA, Calif – Universal Music Group announced that Paul Rosenberg, one of the industry’s most prominent managers and record label executives has been named Chief Executive Officer of Def Jam Recordings, effective January 1, 2018.
Rosenberg a native of Detroit, Michigan is the founder and CEO of Goliath Artists Inc., a New York-based management firm that handles the careers of global superstar Eminem, Danny Brown and others. He is also President of Shady Records, a label launched by Eminem and Rosenberg that released breakthrough albums from hip-hop acts including 50 Cent, D12, Obie Trice, Yelawolf, Slaughterhouse and Bad Meets Evil (Eminem’s collaboration with Royce Da 5’9″).
Steve Bartels, who has decided to step down as CEO of Def Jam, will remain at the company until the end of the year. Rosenberg will report to Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group, and be based in Def Jam’s New York headquarters.
In making the announcement, Grainge said, “Over the past four decades, Def Jam has played a pivotal role in elevating hip hop into what is today the world’s most culturally impactful musical genre. Def Jam’s track record of introducing culturally significant artists is a direct result of the entrepreneurial brilliance that Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin instilled in the label from inception. Paul brings with him not only a remarkable record of success in hip hop, but an entrepreneurial drive and a deep passion for artist development that will build upon Rick and Russell’s enduring legacy.”
Rosenberg said, “I can’t overstate what an honor it is for me to have the opportunity to carry this brand forward. The Def Jam name has meant so much to me for so long, and it’s a dream come true to be able to be a part of the next chapter in the label’s storied legacy. I’m thrilled to be able to meet Lucian’s challenge of carrying the company forward with new goals and great expectations.”
Rosenberg will continue to oversee the career of Interscope Records/Aftermath Entertainment artist Eminem and run Shady Records.