For Chief Operating Officer (COO) of one of the world’s largest entertainment conglomerates, you would think that your name would be known to even those outside of the industry. For Roc Nation COO Desiree “Des” Perez, keeping out of the spotlight has been a purposeful goal for the past 20 years. Keeping a private life has gotten increasingly more difficult for the music executive over the years.
In 2017 Des was named by Billboard Magazine as one of the most influential executives in the music industry. This was a long time coming for the businesswoman who has been a major player in the industry for the past 20 years. Perez got her start as a manager of several successful night clubs and entertainment venues in her native New York City. She was known during this time as having an uncanny business mind and was a fierce negotiator. She began to develop business relationships with the industry elite in the 1990s, known stronger than her relationship with rap mogul, Jay-Z.
Jay-Z was so impressed with her business acumen that he tabbed her to run his SC Enterprises, which she did for a number of years. In 2009 Jay-Z formed Roc Nation and selected Des to be COO, a move that would pay huge dividends for the company in the decade since. She has been the primary negotiator for the company, securing deals for Rihanna with Samsung, Beyoncé’s Formation Stadium, and many others. She has also worked with Roc Nation Sports clients and negotiate the deal for Robinson Cano with the Seattle Mariners for 10 years and $250 million.
Desiree Perez is also the COO of Tidal, the new music subscription service launched by Roc nation in 2016. She was the primary negotiator of the deal with Sprint for $200 million that gave Tidal access to their 45 million customers.