A native of New York City, Roc Nation COO Desiree Perez is as tough as nails. Des, as she is called by friends, has been named by Billboard Magazine as one of the most powerful women in the music industry. The accolade has been a long time coming for Perez, as she has been a powerful force in the industry for over 20 years. To those who have worked with her and for her, Perez is as tough and business-minded as they come.
Des managed a number of night clubs and entertainment venues in New York for nearly 20 years, which is how she met and became friends with rap mogul Jay-Z. Jay-Z quickly recognized Perez’ business acumen and made her the COO of his company, SC Enterprises. When he decided to launch Roc Nation in 2009, he made her the COO of that company as well. The move may have raised some eyebrows to those on the outside but to those who knew the talent that Perez had were not surprised.
She quickly took to her role at the company, being the lead negotiator in a number of deals over the next decade. She was the principal negotiator in both Rihanna’s deal with Samsung and Beyoncé’s deal with Foundation Stadium. She is known around the industry as a sly executive who always gets the better end of the deal. This was never more apparent than in January of 2017 when she made a deal with Sprint on behalf of Roc Nation’s new music streaming service, TIDAL. The deal gave Sprint a 33% stake in the service for $200 million and gave TIDAL exclusivity for the company’s 45 million customers.
Perez prefers to stay out of the public eye although she is now being recognized as one of the most powerful people in music.
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