Shawn Jay-Z Carter will step down as president of Universal's Def Jam. The rapper, who was named Def Jam president in 2005, said in a statement that it is "time for me to take on new challenges." Universal says he will continue to release his own music through Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam. Jay-Z co-founded Roc-A-Fella Records with Damon Dash in 1995 later selling it to Def Jam.
Earlier this month Def Jam cut a number of staffers including several top A&R execs. (details here)
The rumor mill has long speculated that the serial music entrepreneur was restless with the struggling major label model and exploring starting a more cutting edge music company. Live Nation/Artist Nation are among those mentioned as potential partners.