The music biz’s musical chairs continued on Thursday with Barry Weiss, formerly of Sony Music, tapped to replace Antonio “LA” Reid, at Universal’s Island Def Jam.
Weiss will also oversee Universal’s Motown Republic Group. Reid, who was let out of his contract eight months early, is expected to become a judge on Simon Cowell’s Fox competition series “The X Factor,” set to bow in the fall.
The exec shuffle at Island Def Jam follows news that Universal Music Group’s longtime topper Doug Morris will join Sony Music this summer as its new chief.
“Throughout his career, Barry achieved that rare and delicate balance between managing artistic needs and the realities of the business,” Universal Music Group topper Lucian Grainge said. “He is a multidimensional executive and entrepreneur who possesses a deep love of music and an incredibly successful track record in building the careers of premiere artists.”
Reid has helped nurture the careers of Mariah Carey, Justin Bieber and Rihanna, among others. He had been at Island Def Jam since 2004.
Besides the exec shuffling, the music industry is in an even greater state of flux these days as Warner Music explores a sale of all or parts of it business while EMI, now controlled by Citigroup, will most likely be put on the block before too long. The result could be that the four majors get consolidated into three.