With his appointment as Chief Operating Officer of Island Records, Eric Wong took the reins of one of the world’s most celebrated labels. He oversees operations, strategy, and marketing for Island’s entire roster, which currently includes such superstars as Shawn Mendes, Bon Jovi, The Killers, Demi Lovato, Nick Jonas, Elton John, Jessie Reyez and Fall Out Boy. Wong was promoted to this position in 2018 after spending four years as the label’s Executive Vice-President/General Manager, leading the way in shaping a new identity for the company during a time of rapid evolution in the music industry.
Born in New York City, Wong grew up obsessed with music, and at age 16, went from devotedly studying the sales charts each week to an internship while still in high school. A summer internship position at WEA Distribution (through Y.E.S., a program for minority high school students) led to yet another internship at Atlantic Records. While attending New York University, Wong became a college rep for EMI Records. In 1997, while still at school, he was hired at V2 Records, where he was eventually promoted to product manager, overseeing artists such as Moby, Underworld, and Stereophonics.
In 1999, Wong joined the Island Def Jam Music group. As Vice President of Marketing, Wong developed campaigns for a diverse group of acts which included Bon Jovi, Fall Out Boy, Rihanna, Slayer, Sum 41, Christina Milian and more. In 2006, he went to work for Bad Boy Entertainment and Atlantic Records, serving simultaneously as Chief Marketing Officer of Bad Boy and Senior Vice President of Marketing at Atlantic. In this dual role, he was able to get more deeply involved in hip-hop—and study the branding and product extensions pioneered by Bad Boy’s Sean “Diddy” Combs—while keeping a hand in the rock and pop he also loved.
Wong points to the opportunity to work on Jay-Z’s landmark 2009 album The Blueprint 3 as a defining moment in his career, working alongside one of the greatest marketers and one of the greatest artists in hip-hop history. Seeking additional challenges, in 2009, he founded Wong Management, where he worked closely with Mariah Carey.
In 2011, he returned to the Island Def Jam Music Group as Executive Vice President of Marketing, executing creative marketing strategies for artists including Kanye West, Rihanna, Avicii, The-Dream, Fall Out Boy, The Killers, Toni Braxton, Babyface and others. His responsibilities expanded to oversee the label group’s marketing, digital, creative, artist development, video promotion, and video production departments. In 2014, Wong assumed the role of Executive Vice President/General Manager of Island Records.
Wong says that his wide-ranging experiences in the music business—working with different departments and with different genres—is key to his success in leading a staff to maximize projects from developing a rising superstar like Shawn Mendes (Grammy Nominated and three platinum albums in three years), Demi Lovato (Grammy Nominated), Mike Posner (Grammy Nominated), Nick Jonas, to growing a Hall of Fame career like Bon Jovi (whose most recent album rose to Number One on the charts two separate times). He is equally proud of his involvement in Fall Out Boy’s breakthrough and in Mariah Carey’s comeback, and looks forward to the challenges and opportunities that come with new ways people are consuming and discovering music.
Wong, a previous board of director for the Asian American Arts Alliance, was honored by the Foundation in October 2007 for his support of the organization whose commitment is to help local Asian American artists and art groups in the performing and visual arts access more funding and visibility for their work.
Wong was featured on Billboard’s list of “Forty Under Forty Power Players” in 2012 and 2015, and in 2017, 2018, and 2019 he appeared on the magazine’s “Branding Power Players” list. In 2018, he was featured in Variety’s “New Power of New York” list and Billboard’s “From the Desk of…” column. In 2019 and 2020, Wong also appeared on the Billboard Power 100 list. Wong, a voting member of NARAS, holds an MBA in Marketing, is a certified life coach and resides in New York City.