Habtemariam is receiving a double-barreled boost: She has also been named exec VP-head of urban music for Universal Music Publishing Group. She was previously senior VP-head of urban music at Universal Music Group's song arm.
Habtemariam will be based in New York and L.A. and reports directly to Barry Weiss, Universal Republic and Island Def Jam Motown chairman-CEO.
A UMPG exec since 2003, Habtemariam has signed and developed such artists and songwriters as Justin Bieber, Chris Brown, Ciara and Keri Hilson. UMG's urban roster includes Mary J. Blige, Eminem, Mariah Carey, Ne-Yo, Lupe Fiasco, R. Kelly, Erykah Badu and Cash Money's Nicki Minaj.
Wednesday's appointment represents a major changing of the guard at the famed Motown imprint.
Rhone ankled Universal Motown after seven years as prexy (Daily Variety, May 23). At the time it was said she was in talks for another role within UMG, but recent rumors have suggested she's headed for a reunion with Doug Morris, Sony Music Entertainment CEO and former UMG topper, possibly as head of a revived Portrait imprint.