Hip-Hop Exec Kevin Liles Departs Warner Music Group

 Pioneering Hip-Hop executive Kevin Liles will leave Warner Music Group it was announced today (September 3). Liles recently appeared at a press conference in New York promoting Jay-Z’s upcoming album Blueprint 3, which is being distributed by Atlantic, a subsidiary of Warner Music Group.

Today, Liles announced he was steppding down from his role as Executive Vice President, to pursue other business ventures.

"In the past couple weeks I've made one of the most important decisions of my life - to depart the Warner Music Group in order to focus more on new entrepreneurial endeavors in talent management, entertainment, media and my personal philanthropic and political passions,” Liles said in a statement. “I am thankful for the opportunities that Edgar and Lyor have given me, most recently in entrusting me with driving the company's global artist services strategy, which is redefining the way labels and artists work together. My work here is now complete and I'm excited about the next chapter of my life."

Kevin Liles started his career at Def Jam as an unpaid intern in 1991. By 1993, he was the Mid-Atlantic Marketing Manager.

By 1998, he was anointed President of the Def Jam Music Group. During his time at the label, he doubled the company’s revenues, by signing acts like Jay-Z, Irv Gotti and Murder Inc., DMX and numerous others.

Liles was named EVP of Warner Music Group in 2004, shortly after Def Jam Chairman Lyor Cohen took over as CEO of Warner Music Group.

"Kevin and I have worked together since the day he joined Def Jam as an intern 18 years ago,” said Lyor Cohen, WMG’s Chairman and CEO of Recorded Music. “He has become a trusted friend, a brilliant executive and an incredible business partner. Together, we have built companies, signed and developed fantastically talented artists, and brought some outstanding music to the world. Even though Kevin’s chosen to pursue a new challenge, we’ll continue to work together in many aspects of the entertainment industry. I’m so excited to see what’s next for Kev, and he takes with him all my love and respect."

Liles will continue to act as a consultant to Warner Music Group, in addition to pursuing other business ventures.