Warner Bros. Records executive Joie “Joey I.E.” Manda is expected to be named the new president of Def Jam Recordings, according to a source close to the situation who spoke with XXLMag.com.
The news was first reported as a rumor on Tuesday afternoon (March 13) by music biz insider outlet Hits Daily Double.
Sources at each label were surprised by the news, with one labeling the possible hiring as “unrealistic.”
However, another source confirmed Manda would soon be joining the Island Def Jam fold where he’ll report to Universal Republic and Island Def Jam Chairman and CEO Barry Weiss.
Manda would join a short list of men to hold the lofty title of Def Jam prez, including Bill Stephany, Lyor Cohen, Kevin Liles and, most recently, Jay-Z. The Brooklyn rapper stepped down from the position in December 2007 and the role has remained vacant since. Rumors swirled for years about who would replace Hov with names such as Irv Gotti, Ludacris manager Chaka Zulu and more tossed around.
Currently, Manda works closely with Todd Moscowitz, the Warner Bros. co-president and a former lieutenant under former Def Jam president Lyor Cohen. Together, the two (with Manda serving as EVP of the label’s urban offerings) have built Warner Bros. Records into a burgeoning powerhouse by inking Common, Curren$y and Rick Ross’ Maybach Music Group signees Wale, Meek Mill and Stalley. Other notable acts on the roster include Gucci Mane, Waka Flocka Flame and upstarts Kirko Bangz, XV and the New Boyz. Prior to his work at Warner Bros., Manda held positions at Asylum Records and worked for Funkmaster Flex.
It’s unclear as of press time when an official announcement would be released. Manda did not respond to a request for comment. —Jayson Rodriguez (@jayhovawitness), with additional reporting by Mariel Concepcion (@MCeezy)