Three months after former Def Jam Recordings executive vice president Shakir Stewart was found dead by an apparent suicide, his position has reportedly been replaced.

New York’s Daily News has learned that Atlantic Records’ VP of urban A&R Chris Hicks will be taking over for Stewart at the famed hip-hop label. A decade long veteran in the industry, Hicks is largely recognized for founding the publishing company Noontime, which he signed to a joint venture deal with Warner/Chappell in 2000. He has worked with such artists as Lil’Wayne, T.I., Mary J. Blige, Timbaland and Jazze Pha, to name a few.

As previously reported, Hick’s close friend Shakir Stewart died of a self- inflicted gunshot wound in November. He replaced Jay-Z back in June and was responsible for signing Young Jeezy and Rick Ross to Def Jam.

In related news, the Daily News has also learned that Jermaine Dupri, who was recently let go at Island as their president of urban music, will be moving his So So Def label to Sony.

JD recently spoke out about getting fired, saying that he reason he was dismissed was because he ceased communicating with the label. Despite claims that it was due to his poor performance, JD said that he just wasn’t happy there anymore. - Elan Mancini

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