Executive Turntable

Geffen Records President Neil Jacobson Stepping Down to Launch His Own Company

Neil Jacobson
Scott Clark

Neil Jacobson

Neil Jacobson is stepping down as president of Geffen Records after three years in the role, it was announced Wednesday (Dec. 11).

In a statement sent to all Interscope Geffen A&M Records (IGA) employees and obtained by Billboard, Jacobson noted he is leaving the company to start his own independent music company called Crescent Drive Productions, which will cover management, publishing and recordings. 

“As our industry continues to grow and evolve through technology, music consumption, and artists’ direct relationships with their fans, I am excited about my new venture’s contributions to serve artists and fans worldwide,” he wrote.

IGA chairman and CEO John Janick broke the news to staff in a letter -- also obtained by Billboard -- explaining that Jacobson when approached him about leaving, given his own history, he felt "compelled to support his decision and not stand in his way.” When the two first met, Janick was running Fueled by Ramen, the influential independent record label he founded with Vinnie Fiorello. Jacobson will remain at Geffen until the end of the year and will continue to assist through the transition.

Jacobson has been with IGA for more than 17 years, having started as an assistant in the international marketing department. Since joining the label, he's also worked in management and A&R, where he signed such acts as LMFAO and DJ Snake, managed will.i.am (whose label he also ran), Robin Thicke and songwriter/producers Jeff Bhasker and Emile Haynie. In 2017, he was tasked with relaunching Geffen Records as its new president, presiding over a roster that included DJ Snake, Lil Jon, Mura Masa, Yungblud, AlunaGeorge, Avicii, Ren, Gryffin and Billie Eilish's Darkroom label.

Neil Jacobson statement:

For the past 17 years, I have been fortunate to work here at Interscope. I’ve made lifelong friends and have had the privilege of working with many of the world’s most talented artists. Being the President of Geffen Records over the last three years has been the greatest honor of my career.  There is no way to put into words how much my time here has meant to me, but after much reflection, I’ve decided to start my own venture, Crescent Drive Productions, an independent music management, publishing and record label. As our industry continues to grow and evolve through technology, music consumption, and artists’ direct relationships with their fans, I am excited about my new venture’s contributions to serve artists and fans worldwide.

John Janick letter:

To all IGA,

Nearly 10 years ago, while running Fueled By Ramen, I struck up a friendship with Neil Jacobson. He struck me as driven, smart and insightful and incredibly passionate about the music industry.  He told me he was setting out to learn every aspect of the music business and that’s exactly what he did.  At Interscope alone, over the past 17 years he has worked in international publicity and marketing, management and A&R.

When Neil agreed to take on the role of President of Geffen Records, he shared my vision of continuing the storied legacy of the Geffen brand.  His vast knowledge of the business and keen eye for talent were essential as he moved the label forward. Neil did all of this buoyed by an intense entrepreneurial spirit, something we both share.

Recently, Neil came to me expressing his desire to leave Geffen to follow his entrepreneurial passions. Given my history, I feel compelled to support his decision and not stand in his way.  Neil will remain at the company until the end of the year and will continue to assist through the transition. 

We have an incredible team at Geffen who will be integral to the company moving forward.  Over the next several months we will be announcing exciting new things for Geffen, a label which remains vital to the continued success of IGA. 

John