Roc Nation, the multifaceted management-label-publishing company established as a partnership between Jay-Z and Live Nation, is feeling the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
The company has been hit with multiple furloughs and pay cuts that have extended across as much as half the company.
The furloughs and pay cuts — which sources said were in the 10%-20% range — are said to extend across all departments as well as the streaming service Tidal, where sources said the affected areas were largely in the marketing and events departments. A source tells Variety that the company made the moves quickly last month as the crushing impact of the coronavirus brought two of Roc’s primary financial pillars — music touring and sports — to a virtual standstill.
Many of those affected were lower-level employees, sources said, although the company’s former CFO, Gregory Resh, left last month and has since become CFO of Baltimore-based information technology company Sontiq, according to his LinkedIn page.
Founded by Jay-Z in 2008, Roc Nation has grown into a far-reaching agency with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Nashville and London that includes artist and athlete management — clients include Rihanna, Shakira, J. Cole, Big Sean, Yoenis Cespedes, Kyrie Irving and Robinson Cano — label, publishing, touring, film / TV and “new ventures.”
Roc is a partnership with Live Nation, which owns more than 50% of the company, although sources say Live Nation chairman/CEO Michael Rapino largely leaves the management of the company to Jay, who Forbes named “hip-hop’s first billionaire” last year, and its top officers Jay Brown and Desiree Perez (who were promoted to vice chairman and CEO, respectively, in December).
Live Nation itself announced furloughs and voluntary salary cuts earlier this week, although the former were said to be largely in its European division and the latter for top executives, including Rapino, who will forego his $3 million salary this year.
Jay-Z’s Shawn Carter Foundation has made extensive donations to coronarvirus-relief efforts in recent weeks. SCF, with Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation, made a $1 million donation last month to “support undocumented workers, the children of frontline health workers and first responders, and incarcerated, elderly and homeless populations in New York City and Los Angeles” and the two foundations announced Wednesday that they have joined with Twitter founder Jack Dorsey to co-fund $6.2 million in coronavirus-relief grants.