40 Under 40: Bradford Cobb, Direct Management Group


Partner, Direct Management Group


When Direct Management Group co-founder Steve Jensen asked Bradford Cobb about career goals when Cobb joined the firm in June 1998, “I told him in five years I would like to sign a band, my first band, and that was the Go-Go’s,” recalls Cobb, 39, who met Jensen at the B-52’s 25th-anniversary show in Athens, Ga., when Direct was handling the group. “The next goal was in 10 years, and that was to break a new artist, and that was Katy”—as in Perry, who Cobb brought into the firm after being introduced to her by producer/songwriter Glen Ballard. The 15-year goal? “I wanted an artist to become a superstar, and here we are in 2013 and I feel like Katy’s reached that level.” But you won’t find Cobb taking sole credit for any of these achievements. “For me, it’s really about the team,” he explains. “Everyone [at Direct] works on all of the clients, and we build the right team for each artist.” Cobb just laughs when asked about his 20-year goal, but he’s clear about what will be occupying his time in the near future. “Katy came up to our office [in June] and said, ‘I want to release a record this year!’ So it’s been full-on ever since.”