Sony Music Entertainment has promoted label veteran Sylvia Rhone to Chairman and CEO of Epic Records. In her new role, Rhone will lead the creative direction and management of Epic, and report to Rob Stringer, CEO, Sony Music Entertainment.
“Sylvia is a trailblazing and iconic executive who has played a critical leadership role in driving Epic’s recent artist development success. Her wealth of experience and passionate support of artistic vision will help us further grow the reach of Epic’s roster around the world,” Stringer said in a press statement.
Rhone’s career in the music industry spans more than four decades, dating back to her first gig at New York-based label Buddha Records in 1974 and held positions at other labels, including ABC and Ariola before landing at Atlantic, where she became director of national black music marketing.
While at Atlantic, she broadened her A&R oversight until she was named Senior Vice President and General Manager of the prominent label in 1986.
In 1994, she jumped to Warners and became Chairman/CEO of Elektra Entertainment Group and oversaw the label’s merger with Sire Records. She also played a significant role in the career development of a diverse roster that included Missy Elliot, Jason Mraz, Busta Rhymes, Metallica, and Third Eye Blind, among others.
Her tenure at Elektra was also where she ran afoul of the metal band Mötley Crüe in what became a notorious dispute that ended with the band leaving the label, as detailed in the band’s biography The Dirt.
In 2004, she followed Doug Morris to Universal, where she was made an Executive Vice President and appointed President of Motown Records and later Universal Motown Records, where she helped to raise the profile of Cash Money Records and usher in the era of social media.
Rhone is a graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She received an honorary doctorate from the Berklee College of Music on April 5, 2019, in recognition of her career achievements as a leading female music executive who has reached the status of label head multiple times, and for her influence on the music industry through her leadership.