Label veteran to exec VP, head of A&R
producers and songwriters. Based in Los Angeles, Kwak will report to Universal Republic and Island Def Jam Motown chairman-CEO Barry Weiss. In a statement, Weiss said Kwak “has developed into one of the most formidable and respected A&R executives in this business. Karen’s track record of hits for a wide variety of artists is exceeded only by those artists’ love and trust in her.” Kwak was formerly exec VP of A&R operations for IDJ. She took that role in 2007, after serving as senior VP of A&R operations beginning in 2004. At the division, she was instrumental in the success of Mariah Carey, Usher, OutKast and Rihanna. She is credited with bringing the mega-hit “Umbrella” to Rihanna and signing the tune’s co-writer/co-producer The-Dream to IDJ. Kwak had previously held senior A&R administration positions at Arista, LaFace and Motown.