Ethiopia Habtemariam: The New Boss at Motown

Ethiopia Habtemariam (left) has been promoted to senior VP of the storied Motown Records label.

Tadias Magazine
By Tadias Staff

Friday, August 12, 2011

New York (Tadias) – A young Ethiopian American music executive has been appointed as the new head of the legendary Motown label now owned by the Universal Music Group.

The company has named Ethiopia Habtemariam, 31, senior vice president of Universal Motown Records. Ms. Habtemariam will also serve as Executive Vice President and head of Urban Music for Universal Music Publishing Group.

The promotion will make Ms. Habtemariam one of the most prominent women, as well as one of the most influential blacks in the music idustry. She follows in the footsteps of Sylvia Rhone, one of the most powerful women in the field and the first black woman to lead a major record company.

Ms. Habtemariam, who began her career as an intern at LaFace Records in the 90s, is credited for signing publishing deals for artists such as Justin Beiber, Ciara, Polow Da Don, Chris Brown and Ludacris.

According to The New York Times: “The label was careful not to name Ms. Habtemariam as the new president of Motown, but she will have the top position at the label and will report directly to Barry Weiss, Universal’s top executive in New York. It is expected that if she is successful in the new job, she will most likely be promoted.”

“Ethiopia represents the new breed of today’s best creative music executives,” Mr. Weiss said in a statement. “There is no one more relevant and credible in the creative community to help us build upon Motown’s fantastic legacy and move the company into its next groundbreaking era.”

Ms. Habtemariam said she was honored to accept the appointment: “It is an extraordinary opportunity to call Motown home,” she said in a statement. “And I am grateful to Barry for giving me the honor and challenge to put a new creative stamp on a label that has such a rich history.”

She added: “I am truly excited to work at the label that cultivated the musicians who have inspired me over the years. Motown artists created the soundtrack to my life, and I can’t wait to develop acts that not only have cross-genre and cross-generational appeal, but can reach worldwide notoriety.”

We congratulate Ethiopia Habtemariam on her accomplishments.

Ethiopia Habtemariam, Senior VP of Motown, Makes Billboard’s 40 Under 40 List

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17 Responses to “Ethiopia Habtemariam: The New Boss at Motown”

  1. 1 kindeneh Geremew Aug 12th, 2011 at 12:57 am

    wow it is a great achivement to reach such a place! Good Luck for the rest of your Career!

  2. 2 DJ Aug 12th, 2011 at 1:10 am

    This is what I am talking about! An abesha as head of MOTOWN? wow, incredible. Congratulations!

  3. 3 Ras Mitat Aug 12th, 2011 at 1:31 am

    I like her name too! Gobez yene konojo and good luck in your new job!

  4. 4 Rahel Aug 12th, 2011 at 1:44 am

    Dear Tadias:

    This is an amazing accomplishment at such a young age and I wish Ms. Ethiopia Habtemariam all the best in her new endeavor. Motowwn’s roster of historic singers are some of my most favorite, as they are the favorites of most people in the world, such as Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Erykah Badu, The Jackson 5, The Supremes, the list goes on… Congratulations are in order.

    Thanks for highlighting her.

    Dearborn , Michigan

  5. 5 Markos Aug 12th, 2011 at 1:47 am

    Way to go!

  6. 6 fabella Aug 12th, 2011 at 10:10 am

    This is the deepest congrats from back home!!! if at all there should be an inspiration to all the young ladies up here, this with out doubt should be the one!!!!

    ETHIOPIA, i just hope to see you march up forward and be the president of Motown and better yet Universal Music Publishing Group or other. You’re a real motivation!!!!

  7. 7 seifu Aug 12th, 2011 at 10:20 am

    melkish, simish, bikatish WOW

  8. 8 Misganaw Tadesse Aug 13th, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    zis is a great achievement. you are one good role model for all of black women. You deserve it! Congratulation!

  9. 9 Goyla Music Art Aug 14th, 2011 at 5:49 pm


  10. 10 Ethiolion Aug 15th, 2011 at 10:37 am


    Ewnetem Ethiopia. You are a great motivation to All women and men of Not only ETHIOPIA but to the Whole WORLD.

    Good Luck and Kindest regards,

  11. 11 ALMAZ KIFLE Aug 15th, 2011 at 11:20 am

    Dear Ethiopia,

    I am proud of your accomplishment at such a young age. You are going to be a good example to our Ethiopian and Ethiopian American children. What a great achivement my dear.


  12. 12 ALMAZ KIFLE Aug 15th, 2011 at 11:50 am


  13. 13 seife Aug 17th, 2011 at 8:19 am

    ur on the right track..

  14. 14 Admas Travel Aug 24th, 2011 at 6:33 pm

    Amazing accomplishment. We’re proud of you !

  15. 15 Kevin McLin Oct 4th, 2011 at 9:42 pm


    I work with your dad at Tuskegee University.

    Kevin J. McLin Sr.
    Vice President
    Communications, Public Relations, and Marketing

  16. 16 Mickael Getachew (PhD) - England Nov 7th, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Wow, I say Congrats too, my beautiful Ethiopian sister? Good God, you look like my beloved late mother as well. Keep well and take care.



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