Joey I.E. named president of Def Jam | Music News

After much speculation and an epic plea from Irv Gotti about their need for leadership, Def Jam has finally appointed someone to the role of president.

Longtime industry power player Joie Manda – affectionately known as “Joey I.E.” – is the label’s new president, assuming the role last held by Jay-Z in 2007.

“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,” Barry Weiss, Chairman and CEO of Universal Republic and Island Def Jam, 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.”

Manda made his name in the industry as an artist manager, eventually rising through the ranks at Asylum Records and becoming their Executive Vice President. Most recently, Manda worked as Executive Vice President/GM at Warner Bros. Records, where he helped sign artists including Waka Flocka, Jill Scott and Curren$y. He also played a major role in landing Rick Ross his deal for Maybach Music Group.

“Running Def Jam is the greatest challenge of my career and I am appreciative to Barry Weiss for his faith in appointing me to this position.” Manda said in a statement. “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.”

Billboard reports that an internal memo timestamped Wednesday morning announcing Manda’s departure circulated around the Warner Bros. headquarters prior to Def Jam’s official announcement later in the day.

“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,” Warner Bros. CEO Todd Moscowitz said in the memo. “While I am very sorry to see him go, this is an unbelievable opportunity for Joie.”

Manda will be based in New York and report directly to Weiss.

Leadership at Def Jam has been shaky since Jay-Z’s contract as president expired in 2007. Some contend that the label, considered by most to be a monument in Hip-Hop, hasn’t had any leadership from within the culture since the shocking suicide of Executive VP Shakir Stewart in November 2008. Former Chairman Antonio “L.A.” Reid was often criticized for the way he ran the company, with his multimillion dollar signing of former Bad Boy artist Shyne soon after the rapper was released from a nine-year prison term becoming one of the biggest talking points. Veteran MC Nas even penned a scathing open letter to the label head back in 2010. Reid has since resigned from the position.