JIM CAPARRO ANNOUNCES RESIGNATION AS CHAIRMAN OF THE ISLAND DEF JAM MUSIC GROUP
New York, New York, December 14, 2001 – Jim Caparro, Chairman of The Island Def Jam Music Group, announced today that he has resigned from the company.
In making the announcement, Caparro said: “I have been one of the luckiest of people in that I’ve had the rare and incredible opportunity to build a company from scratch, and develop it into a market leader. During that time, I’ve worked with many of the world’s most exciting artists and many of the most dynamic record people in the business; among them Doug Morris (Chairman & CEO, Universal Music Group), Zach Horowitz (President & COO, Universal Music Group), Lyor Cohen (President, Island Def Jam), Luke Lewis (Chairman, Mercury Nashville, President, Lost Highway) and Cees Wessels (President, Roadrunner Records). But timing is everything, and it’s time for me to take on new challenges. I can do this now because we have successfully built Island Def Jam into an industry powerhouse by creating a company whose culture is very special artistically and managerially. We have infused it with a sense of spirit and creative energy that will enable it to maintain the success it has already achieved and then some.”
Commented Doug Morris, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Universal Music Group, “Jim has done a tremendous job in guiding Island Def Jam into a leadership position in the music business. He is a truly gifted executive, combining artistic sensibilities with great organizational skills and business acumen. And equally important, he is a builder of companies and this is reflected in the success of IDJ and the winning culture of that label. Jim will be missed and we wish him the best in all of his future endeavors.”
Added Island Def Jam President Lyor Cohen: “Jim made it clear to us that he feels the time has come to take on different challenges in his life. While we regret his decision to move on, we certainly understand it and wish him only the very best. In the very short time that we were running this company, Jim became one of its pillars, benefiting us all with his tremendous leadership, spirit and friendship. Our partnership worked brilliantly because, above all, Jim was sensitive to the creative process and how we best complemented each other. And while this is a difficult time for all of us, we will nonetheless move forward, continuing to develop new talent while providing our established artists with the very best opportunities for success in the marketplace.”
Mr. Caparro chaired The Island Def Jam Music Group in 1999 following the Universal Music Group/PolyGram merger and, with Mr. Cohen, combined the Mercury, Island, and Def Jam labels. Under their direction, the label quickly thrived, becoming one of the most successful and profitable labels in the Universal family. In the last three years, the Island Def Jam market share has tripled, thanks to an aggressive expansion plan and the break-out success of such chart toppers as Bon Jovi, Jay-Z, DMX, Ja Rule and Sisqo. He also played a pivotal role in creating the plan to reintroduce Bon Jovi to a new generation of fans with their latest release Crush, which sold in excess of eight million copies. During Mr. Caparro’s tenure, Island Def Jam sought to expand its reach through a number of high-profile strategic moves. While IDJ continued to be a dominant force in the Rap/Hip-Hop arena, Caparro played a key role in the push into Rock and Pop via their Island Records division.
To date, the division has scored gold and platinum records from new artists Sum 41, Saliva, American Hi Fi, and the Grammy Award-winning and critically acclaimed Shelby Lynne. Moreover, Mr. Caparro was instrumental in Island Def Jam’s acquisition of half of Roadrunner Records, which included such top-selling acts as Nickelback and Slipknot.
While Mr. Caparro was Chairman, The Island Def Jam Music Group went into partnership with Mercury Nashville, and together with Luke Lewis, the chairman of Mercury Nashville, founded country label Lost Highway Records. To date, the partnership has produced the award-winning soundtrack to O Brother Where Art Thou, which has sold over 4x Platinum, and has been the longest running #1 soundtrack in the country. The label is also home to critically acclaimed singer-songwriter, Ryan Adams, who released his second solo album, Gold, this year.
Prior to assuming his current position, Mr. Caparro served as President and Chief Executive Officer of PolyGram Group Distribution (PGD). In this role, Mr. Caparro not only oversaw the double-digit growth of PGD, but built a number of other successful divisions including Video, Merchandising, Polymedia, Independent Labels and New Media & Business Development. Under his leadership, PGD became one of the largest and most respected music distribution companies in the U.S.
For five years in a row, 1994-1998, PGD was the recipient of the National Association of Recording Merchandisers (NARM) Distributor of the Year award.
Prior to joining PolyGram, Mr. Caparro held a variety of management positions in sales, marketing, administration and operations at CBS Records (now Sony Music) since 1973. In 1988, he was named Senior Vice President of National Sales and Branch Distribution for PolyGram Records. He then served as Executive Vice President, PGD, beginning with the division’s inception in 1990.
Universal Music Group is the world’s leading music company with wholly-owned record operations or licensees in 63 countries around the world. Its businesses also include Universal Music Publishing Group, one of the industry’s largest global music publishing operations.
Universal Music Group consists of record labels Decca Record Company, Deutsche Grammophon, Interscope Geffen A&M Records, Island Def Jam Music Group, Lost Highway Records, MCA Nashville, MCA Records, Mercury Records, Motown Records, Philips, Polydor, Universal Records, and Verve Music Group as well as a multitude of record labels owned or distributed by its record company subsidiaries around the world. The Universal Music Group owns the most extensive catalog of music in the industry, which is marketed through two distinct divisions, Universal Music Enterprises (in the U.S.) and UM3 (outside the U.S.). Universal Music Group also includes eLabs, its division dedicated to strategy, business development, and management of new businesses in the online and advanced technology space.
Universal Music Group is a unit of Vivendi Universal, a global media and communications company.