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Barry Weiss to head up Island Def Jam

By | Published on Friday 18 March 2011

Barry Weis

Universal Music yesterday confirmed that recent recruit Barry Weiss will now head up its US division Island Def Jam, taking over from LA Reid, who announced his departure from the music major earlier this week.

As previously reported, Reid has officially quit Universal to join the US version of ‘X-Factor’ as a judge, though some now wonder if he took that role because he knew he was being eased out of his IDJ job now that Lucian Grainge is in charge at Universal Music. Some are also wondering whether Reid will ultimately end up working for ‘X-Factor’ co-owners Sony Music, possibly taking over from Weiss, who recently left Sony to join Universal.

As well as being Chairman and CEO of the Island Def Jam group of labels, Weiss will also head up the Universal Motown Republic Group, which includes the Republic, Motown and Mercury labels. He will not, however, sit above Universal’s other big US division, Interscope Geffen A&M, with its chief, Jimmy Iovine, still reporting directly into Grainge.