Mike Smith Named Mercury UK President of Music
Mike Smith Named Mercury UK President of Music

Mike Smith, the former managing director of Columbia Records U.K., has been appointed president of music at Mercury Records U.K.

Reporting to Mercury Records U.K. President Jason ILey, Smith takes up his new role September 10, having stepped down from his six-year reign as managing director of Columbia Records in April this year. His responsibilities as president of music will include leading Mercury's A&R department, which has enjoyed recent success with AmyMacdonald, Noah & The Whale, Pixie Lott, Maverick Sabre and British EDM acts Chase & Status and Nero.

Mike Smith Steps Down As Managing Director Columbia Records U.K.

Smith's music career begun in the late 1980s as a talent scout for MCA Music Publishing, where he signed Blur. He moved to EMI Music Publishing in 1992, where his signings included PJ Harvey, Arctic Monkeys, Doves, Supergrass and Arcade Fire. Prior to joining Columbia Records in 2006,

Smith was director of A&R at EMI Publishing. Artists signed to Columbia during Smith's tenure as label managing director included Calvin Harris, Mark Ronson, the Ting Tings, MGMT, Magnetic Man, Katy B, the Vaccines and Ryan Adams.

In addition to Smith's appointment, Clive Cawley has been promoted to the position of managing director of Mercury Records U.K., with immediate effect. Cawley has been with the label for the past eleven years, during which time he has worked on campaigns for Metallica, Paul McCartney, Arcade Fire, The Killers and Mark Knopfler, among others. He most recently held the position of label manager of Mercury imprint Vertigo Records and will report to ILey in his new post.

Planned Mercury releases for 2012 include albums from Kristina Train, Frank Ocean, The Killers, Ne-Yo, The Gaslight Anthem, as well as ongoing campaigns for Amy Macdonald, Maverick Sabre, Justin Bieber and Rihanna.

"With Mike and Clive, Mercury has two incredible ambassadors," said ILey in a statement announcing their appointment. "Clive has long been respected for his talent and loved for his irreverent humour. Mike is an exceptional record-maker and I'm delighted we now have him on our side - despite being one of the industry's true gentlemen he's proved a very tough competitor in the past. These appointments strengthen our team at one of the most exciting times in Mercury's history," ILey went on to say.

Commenting on his appointment as label president Smith said in a statement: "I am delighted that Jason [ILey] has created a strategic music role for me in which I am able to utilise the accumulated knowledge from my time in music publishing and running a major label. Mercury has some of the greatest artists in the world on their roster and I am thrilled to be part of their excellent team."

Of his new role as managing director, Cawley added: "I see this as an incredible opportunity at what is a challenging time for our industry but a particularly exciting time for new artists."

In line with the executive appointments, Elliot Taylor will move from his role as head of group sales, online and digital, at Universal's central sales team to become Mercury U.K commercial director. Additionally, Rachael Paley is returning to the label as senior marketing manager, having previously held positions at Rhino and Warner Music.