Tommy Mottola, the record company mogul Michael Jackson called the devil and Mariah Carey called a husband, has stepped down as Sony Music’s chairman.
Mottola, best known as the architect of his ex-wife’s career, announced his resignation Thursday (January 9) and plans to launch a new music venture in partnership with Sony Music Entertainment. He spent 14 years with Sony, which reportedly suffered an operating loss of more than $100 million last year.
“I have been thinking about taking up this new challenge for about a year and really made the decision to go forward recently,” Mottola said in a statement.
Jackson waved a placard bearing a hellish drawing of Mottola, called him “mean” and blamed his label boss’ alleged racism for the poor sales of 2001’s Invincible. Mottola’s representatives called the charges bizarre and false.
A New York native, Mottola helped guide Hall & Oates to multiplatinum success in the 1970s and ’80s and also worked with John Mellencamp and Carly Simon. He joined Sony Music in 1988, and it wasn’t long before he intercepted a Carey demo tape intended for another executive.
Mottola divorced his first wife in 1990 and married Carey three years later, taking the reigns of her career. The couple divorced in 1998, and Carey split from Sony shortly after.
Upon hearing the news of his resignation, Carey said, “I wish him well in his future endeavors.”
Mottola has also been instrumental in the musical careers of Jessica Simpson and Jennifer Lopez.
His replacement as chairman and CEO of Sony Music Entertainment, Andrew Lack, was named Friday. Lack, who’ll join Sony in early February, has been president and COO of NBC since June 2001, and prior to that was president of NBC News, where he presided over the creation of MSNBC. Lack spent the bulk of his news career at CBS, where he created the ’80s newsmagazine “West 57th” and worked as a producer on “60 Minutes.”