HITS Daily Double
"Timing is every-thing, and it's time for me to take on new challenges."


In a Surprise Move, IDJ Chairman Resigns Post
Jim Caparro has unexpectedly resigned his post as Chairman of the Island Def Jam Music Group. The move surprisied industry insiders because IDJ is having a great year, and Caparro reportedly has two years remaining on his contract.

Caparro took the reins of the company three years ago, when Seagram bought PolyGram. He was one of the few PolyGram executives to make the cut following the merger with UMG.

IDJ President Lyor Cohen will handle Caparro's duties.

In an exclusive interview with HITS, Caparro said: "I'm at the peak of my game right now. The company is rolling on all cylinders. It's just the perfect time for me to move on. I'm not a manager, I'm someone who creates and builds. We created and built IDJ and it is special. I also created and built PGD. My job is done here. The company is positioned to remain on a successful path. This move was done with a lot of thought; it's not just about taking another job. I love this company, the artists and executives and this was not an easy or flippant decision. I figure I'll take a month off and then go again. Fortunately there is a lot of need out there and I look forward to being able to contribute. The company will be left in great hands because Lyor is the best record guy in the business.

"I have been one of the luckiest of people in that I've had the rare and incredible opportunity to build a company from scratch, and develop it into a market leader. During that time, I've worked with many of the world's most exciting artists and many of the most dynamic record people in the business, among them Doug Morris, Zach Horowitz, Lyor, Luke Lewis and Cees Wessels. But timing is everything, and it's time for me to take on new challenges. I can do this now because we have successfully built Island Def Jam into an industry powerhouse by creating a company whose culture is very special artistically and managerially. We have infused it with a sense of spirit and creative energy that will enable it to maintain the success it has already achieved and then some. But I sure will miss my weekly three-card monte games with Ludacris."

Added UMG Chairman/CEO Doug Morris: "Jim has done a tremendous job in guiding Island Def Jam into a leadership position in the music business. He is a truly gifted executive, combining artistic sensibilities with great organizational skills and business acumen. And equally important, he is a builder of companies and this is reflected inthe success of IDJ and the winning culture of that label. Jim will be missed and we wish him the best in all of his future endeavors."

Added Island Def Jam President Lyor Cohen: "Jim made it clear to us that he feels the time has come to take on different challenges in his life. While we regret his decision to move on, we certainly understand it and wish him only the very best. In the very short time that we were running this company, Jim became one of its pillars, benefiting us all with his tremendous leadership, spirit and friendship. Our partnership worked brilliantly because, above all, Jim was sensitive to the creative process and how we best complemented each other. And while this is a difficult time for all of us, we will nonetheless move forward, continuing to develop new talent while providing our established artists with the very best opportunities for success in the marketplace. But at least now I don't have to get him a Hanukkah gift."

Under Caparro and Cohen's direction, IDJ has enjoyed a dramatically successful year, scoring a marketshare in the neighborhood of 7% while notching the #3 label slot behind Columbia and fellow Universal Music Group entity Interscope Geffen A&M. Caparro is said to have played a major role in IDJ's return to rock prominence, breaking such baby bands as Sum 41, and closing the deal with Roadrunner, which led directly to the explosive success of Nickelback. Over the last three years, the IDJ market share has tripled. During Caparro's reign, IDJ made a number of high-profile strategic moves in the rap/hip-hop arena, while boosting its rock and pop artists through Island Records.

Prior to his current post, Caparro served as President/CEO of PolyGram Group Distribution, overseeing the company's double-digit growth and building a number of successful divisions, including Video, Merchandising, Polymedia, Independent Labels and New Media & Business Development. Before that, Caparro held a variety of management positions in sales, marketing, administration and operations at CBS Records (now Sony) since 1973. In 1988, he was named Sr. VP of National Sales and Branch Distribution for PolyGram Records. He then served as Exec. VP for PGD with the division's inception in 1990.

Wonderers are now wondering if Caparro plans to rejoin EMI chieftains Alain Levy and David Munns, with whom he worked at PolyGram.

Caparro's departure is the third surprise resignation in the last 10 days, following similar announcements from AOLTW chief Gerald Levin and and Vivendi Universal principal Edgar Bronfman Jr. More to come.