The president of the Recording Academy, Neil Portnow, is under fire for comments he recently made. His organization is behind the Grammy’s and he recently said that women in the music industry need to “step up” if they want to go farther in their careers. Many women in the industry, including the chief operating officer at Roc Nation, Desiree Perez, were rightfully incensed at this and there have been calls for him to step down. One musician, Pink, issued a statement saying that women have always been stepping up an have been highly successful for years in the music industry.
Desiree Perez and five other high-powered female executives in the industry wrote a letter to the board of trustees for the Recording Academy. They said that his views were totally out of touch with not just the music industry but also broader society. They stopped short of calling for him to resign but they did strongly say that what he said points out deep problems with his attitude towards women.Desiree Perez has been the COO of Roc Nation since 2009. Before that she was also heavily involved in Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter’s prior company, SC Enterprises.
She is considered one of the top executives in the industry and is a powerful force behind many well-known musicians. In addition to her public criticism of Neil Portnow she has also helped to spread the #MeToo movement. Known as a great negotiator, Desiree Perez handled the talks between Roc Nation and Sprint in regards to the music app TIDAL. Her skills led to Sprint investing $200 million in this app. The deal paid off for both parties when Jay-Z released his latest album, 4:44, to both critical and commercial acclaim. She also helped organize his following tour which was his most successful yet.