Former Motown Records CEO Andre Harrell has signed on with Bad Boy Entertainment to aid the Sean “Puffy” Combs-led outfit in its expansion, as it is poised to bow a record 10 albums in 1999.
Insiders said Harrell, who has tried unsuccessfully to ink deals with Sony Music for a new imprint and take the reins of Mariah Carey’s now defunct Crave Records, will be consulted on marketing strategies for the Bad Boy label.
His attention will be centered on upcoming releases from new signees, as well as from existing acts like Puffy and Mase.
Harrell will work closely with Benny Medina, who manages Combs and is shepherding the rap star’s forays into film and TV production, and label chief Jeff Burroughs.
Though label insiders described Harrell’s participation in Bad Boy as being on the periphery — he has yet to be involved in any meetings with Arista Records execs who distribute Bad Boy discs — he is being tapped to help formulate marketing campaigns for the upcoming albums.
He’s also been charged with focusing on enhancing the Bad Boy brand name as the company’s interests expand.
“With 20 years in the music business, Andre has an excellent perspective and can help us maintain the vibe and spirit that is Bad Boy,” said an insider.
The involvement of Harrell, who was ousted last year from Motown after an ineffective reign atop the industry’s most revered black music label, comes as Bad Boy will be doubling its release slate in the coming year.
Medina, who is also a principal in management firm Hand Print Entertainment, in addition to managing Combs, has denied he is anything other than Combs’ manager and adds that he has not joined the staff of Bad Boy as its de facto prexy.
He said he will continue to divide his time between the two companies.