After conquering print and digital media, Complex's content boss Noah Callahan-Bever is taking on a new challenge: as a head executive at Def Jam.
The Complex chief content officer and editor-in-chief announced on Billboard on Monday, Dec. 4 that he would be joining Def Jam as the executive vp of brand strategy and content. He'll be reporting directly to longtime friend Paul Rosenberg, who was named the chairman and CEO of Def Jam this past summer.
Callahan-Bever is moving on from a 20-year journalism career, including 12 years climbing through the ranks at Complex. His leadership has seen the company transition into Complex Media, getting it acquired in a 50-50 joint venture deal by Hearst and Verizon, launching the ComplexCon convention, and pushing its new direction into video with series such as The Blueprint and Everyday Struggle. Before Complex, he wrote and edited for the likes of ego trip, Blaze, Vibe, MTV News and XXL.
He and Rosenberg met in 1998 at Fat Beats record store, where Callahan-Bever heard Eminem's "My Name Is" and "Guilty Conscience" on a CD that Rosenberg was saying. They fostered a friendship in the years since then, and now they'll be working together at Def Jam.
"I've worked with Noah for nearly 20 years in his various capacities with different companies as writer, editor and CCO," Rosenberg said in a statement provided to Billboard. "Throughout that time, Noah has demonstrated an incredible ability to create, innovate and connect with audiences. I'm especially excited to have Noah and his skill set become a part of the future of Def Jam as we begin to reimagine the label's platform, further develop the brand and realize our plan to connect with fans in previously unimagined ways."
Callahan-Bever will be working with the likes of Jeezy, Fabolous, Big Sean, 2 Chainz, Pusha T, Nas, Kanye West, Dave East, Logic, Desiigner and others at Def Jam. He will also continue to host The Blueprint, the Complex video series where he interviews entertainment and fashion industry professionals.
"Def Jam has always been an important pillar in my cultural lexicon, and the idea that I would be able to participate in giving this brand new meaning and new life and helping Paul execute his vision for the future of the label was incredibly exciting," Callahan-Bever said. "[Paul said] it is his belief that record companies are digital content companies, but most of them just don't know it yet. That really resonated with me, because I do think that in so many ways, the things that the successful labels today do are not so far removed from the type of things that I was doing ... It's really about storytelling and articulating a narrative. The format's changed, but the fundamental function is the same."