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Lyor Cohen Steps Down as Warner Music Group Chief

Lyor Cohen, the venerable chairman/CEO of recorded music for Warner Music Group and former Def Jam president, has stepped down form his current position. According to the Hollywood Reporter, WMG is announced the move to employees on Monday (September 24). Cohen has been with the company since 2004 after a storied career at Island Def Jam.

In a statement, obtained by, Cohen thank his WMG cohorts.

“To all the artists and employees who live and die for the music every day, and who personally sacrifice for the good of the creative process: ‘keep on keepin’ on’ in the tradition of a company that respects and honors the artistic community,” Cohen said without offering a hint as to what his next move might be.

Cohen has been a mainstay in hip-hop since the ’80s, first as a promoter in Los Angeles before he joined forces with Russell Simmons at Rush Management. Cohen soon made his mark at Def Jam where in 1988, he was appointed president of the label. Cohen is noted for being the “Check Writer” at Def Jam and “the protector of the logo,” as he suggested during VH1’s Hip-Hop Honors celebrating the famous label.  In 2008, Cohen was promoted to chairman/CEO of WMG’s Recorded Music operations. —Jayson Rodriguez (@jaysonrodriguez)

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