Island Def Jam Music Group today (March 14) announced the appointment of Joie Manda to President of Def Jam Recordings. The announcement was made by Barry Weiss, Chairman & CEO of Universal Republic and Island Def Jam, to whom he reports. Manda - the first president of Def Jam since Jay-Z left the post on Christmas Eve, 2007 -- will be based in New York.
"As we look to expand Def Jam and our creative urban music activities even further, there is no one better to lead them than Joie," Weiss said in a statement. "He has emerged as one of the most respected young executives in today's urban music landscape, possessing all the qualifications and experience that are essential to run Def Jam, the world's most important hip-hop destination. The entire Def Jam family looks forward to working closely with Joie as he puts his unique imprint on the next chapter in the label's storied and successful history."
"Running Def Jam is the greatest challenge of my career," Manda said, "and I am appreciative to Barry Weiss for his faith in appointing me to this position. I'm excited to work alongside Steve Bartels, who is one of the most talented music execs in the business and who has played such an important role in building the IDJ team. The Def Jam artist roster has always been synonymous with the greatest in hip-hop, and I intend to carry that tradition into the future."
In an internal memo timestamped Wednesday morning (March 14), Warner Bros. co-president/CEO Todd Moscowitz said: "It is with bittersweet feelings that I'm writing to let you all know that Joie Manda is leaving us to become the President of Def Jam Recordings. As some of you know, Joie began his career with Warner Music at Asylum Records serving as Executive Vice President in 2004, working alongside me to build the company. In 2010, he became the Head of Urban Music at Warner Bros. Records, where he helped sign such artists as Common, Rick Ross' Maybach Music Group, Waka, Curren$y, and Jill Scott, who scored her biggest radio single to date. He has been an instrumental part of our team and a great friend and partner to us all. While I am very sorry to see him go, this is an unbelievable opportunity for Joie. I am sure you will all join me in wishing him well."
At press time, the photo and wallpaper on Manda's Twitter page was a vintage photo of Def Jam founders Rick Rubin and Russell Simmons.
Several names had been bandied about over the years as possible successors to Jay-Z in the role, including Chaka Zulu and Irv Gotti, the latter of whom lobbied publicly for the role, speaking with RapFix and others about his qualifications.
Prior to his label posts, Manda worked as a party promoter, DJ and in an unofficial management capacity for Funkmaster Flex.