Paul Rosenberg Appointed as CEO of Def Jam Records

This is no less than breaking news for the music heads. Eminem’s longtime manager Paul Rosenberg has been appointed as the CEO of Def Jam Records, report Variety and HDD.


Paul is best known for being the manager of Eminem and the co-founder of the rapper’s label Shady Records who released albums from 50 Cent, D12 and Obie Trice. He’s also the CEO of Goliath Artist Management whose current roster includes Eminem, Action Bronson and Danny Brown. Paul is an iconic character in music too as he has been a recurring character on skits on almost all Eminem albums.

According to the report, Rosenberg will continue to manage Eminem, who is expected to release a new album this year, and is slated to start as CEO of Def Jam Records in January 2018. Until then, Steve Bartels will continue with the job, who has been running the label since 2013. Alessia Cara, Logic and Desiigner are three of the label’s biggest successes from recent times.

Whether this move will affect Em’s status is unknown at this point. The rapper is still believed to be signed to Shady/Aftermath/Interscope but you may just never know. Stay tuned.

UPDATE: Shady Records’ newest signee Westside Gunn confirmed on his Instagram (posted has been removed since then) that him along with his partner Conway and other members of Griselda Records are a part of Def Jam now so there’s a strong possibility that the entire Shady imprint might be signing with them.

UPDATE 2: Def Jam, Universal and Paul Rosenberg have released official statements. Rosenberg will report to Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group, and be based in Def Jam’s New York headquarters.

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.”

Bartels said, “It has been my honor and privilege to helm Def Jam Recordings. I am proud of the strength and diversity of the roster that we have built, which continues to reflect the independent roots it was founded on. I am confident the label rests in the sure hands of not just a music executive but a man who cares deeply about the artists and will continue this legacy of Def Jam forward.”

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.”

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