A method for the Pd-catalyzed carbonylation of aryl bromides has been developed using Xantphos as the ligand. This method is effective for the direct synthesis of Weinreb amides, 1 degrees and 2 degrees benzamides, and methyl esters from the corresponding aryl bromides at atmospheric pressure. In addition, a putative catalytic intermediate, (Xanphos)Pd(Br)benzoyl, was prepared and an X-ray crystal structure was obtained revealing an unusual cis-coordination mode of Xantphos in this palladium-acyl complex.