Such was Stein's influence in signing and promoting the "new wave" genre of music that he is sometimes credited with coming up with the name as an alternative to the term "punk", which he found derogative. The term had previously been used to refer to the French New Wave film movement of the 1960s.
To date, Stein remains the President of Sire Records and is also Vice President of Warner Bros. Records with which he has had a marketing and distribution deal from 1976 to 1994 and again since April 2003. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 14, 2005, under the lifetime-achievement category.
Seymour Stein was formerly married to the late music promoter and real estate executive Linda Stein; together, the couple had two daughters before they divorced, on amicable terms, in the late 1970s. Stein has never remarried. One of his children Mandy Stein.