The #MeToo movement has taken the country by storm over the past several months. It seems like not a day go by that the movement isn’t in the news in some form or fashion. The music industry is one the biggest hit, with many executives and artists speaking out and coming forward with stories of sexual abuse. Desiree “Des” Perez is among a group of six female music executives that signed a letter written to the President of the Recording Academy, Neil Portnow, addressing their displeasure with his recent statement.
In a statement, Portnow, said that women in the music and entertainment industries need to step up their game if they expect to advance their careers. The statement was met with disdain by many in the industry, and many called for him to tender his resignation. The group of female executives, which included execs from Sony, Universal, Atlantic, and Epic Records, did not go that far but still condemned Portnow for his insensitive remarks. The group, which included Roc Nation’s Perez called Portnow on the carpet, expressing their willingness to sit down with him to solve the problem.
Des Perez is one of the most revered women in the music industry. She has been in the game for over 20 years, beginning by being one fo the most successful venue managers in New York City in the 1990s. She managed several successful night clubs and entertainment venues prior to being named as COO of Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter’s SC Enterprises. That role turned into him naming her as COO of the then-newly formed Roc Nation in 2009. She has excelled at her role as COO and has been solely responsible for several successful negotiations in the company’s history. She was named COO of the company’s music streaming service, TIDAL, in 2016. In January of 2017 she successful negotiated a huge deal with Sony for $200 million.