Jay-Z Leaves Def Jam!

posted December 24, 2007 06:27:30 PM CST | 159 comments

After months of countless rumors and speculation surrounding Jay-Zs future position with Def Jam, Jay-Z has announced that he will step down as the President of Def Jam Records.

Jay released the following statement today (December 24) that officially marks his resignation from his current position as President when his contract expires at the end of 2007.

Ive been incredibly fortunate to have served as President of such a culturally-defining label as Def Jam over the last three years. During that time, Ive had the pleasure of working with many of the worlds most dynamic artists and many of the most dedicated and talented executives in the music business today, including [IDJMG Chairman/ CEO] Antonio L.A. Reid. But now its time for me to take on new challenges. I am pleased to have had the opportunity to build upon the Def Jam legacy, helping to move the company into a new era of artistic success. Jay-Z

While Jay has left his head job at Def Jam, he will remain running (and recording for) his Roc-A-Fella imprint, which is distributed by the Island Def Jam Music Group; headed by Chairman Antonio L.A. Reid, who had the following to say about Jays decision

"While we regret his decision to move on, we certainly respect it. Since Jay joined us as President of Def Jam in 2005, we have all benefited from his leadership, sense of spirit and invaluable friendship. While he will continue to be one of our signature artists, he will nonetheless be missed in this executive capacity. The entire Island Def Jam family joins me in wishing him the very best in all of his future business endeavors. L.A. Reid

Jay-Z took over as President of Def Jam in 2005 and went on to sign former rival Nas. Jay also overlooked the release of hits from Ne-Yo, Rihanna, Kanye West and more; which earned 26 Grammy nominations for 2007.

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