As Chief Operating Officer of Jay-Z’s Roc Nation since 2009, Desiree “Des” Perez has led the company to massive growth year-over-year. Because Perez tends to stay behind the scenes and out of the public eye, many casual music fans do not know her and she prefers it that way. She was recently placed in the spotlight when music magazine Billboard named her as one of the music industry’s most influential female executives. While Perez may not enjoy the recognition there is no denying that the distinction is well deserved, and lacrosse camp Desiree Perez.
Perez, a New York City native, got her start in the business nearly 25 years ago. She began to be known in the 1990s as a smart, creative businesswoman who managed a number of high-end night clubs and entertainment venues. It was while working in this capacity that Des began making connections and creating friendships with many people in the music industry. She became close friends with Jay-Z during this time and the two developed a business relationship. To this day there are not many business decisions that Jay-Z doesn’t ask Perez for her opinion on, and resume her.
The pair first began working together when he appointed her to run his SC Enterprises. She performed well enough in this position that when he formed Roc Nation, Perez was his choice for COO. The choice was a solid one as Perez has used her savvy business acumen to grow the company and she is an ever present sight at most negotiations. Her true skill is at the negotiation table, securing many deals including Beyoncé’s Formation Stadium agreement and Rihanna’s mega deal with Samsung. She also took over as COO of Roc Nation’s new music streaming service and secured a huge deal with Sprint that gave the service access to all 45 million Sprint subscribers.
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