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

Mike Smith has stepped down as managing director of Columbia Records U.K. with immediate effect.

No reason has been given for his departure from the label, which was announced by Nick Gatfield, Chairman and CEO Sony Music this morning (April. 24).

"I want to thank Mike for his contribution to Columbia Records over the last six years. He is a strong creative executive and I wish him well in all his future endeavours. We are actively exploring ways for us to work together in the future," said Gatfield in a statement.

Confirming his departure from the label, Mike Smith said in a statement: "I have really enjoyed my time at Columbia Records running this legendary label for six years. This is a really exciting time for the music industry and I am looking forward to widening my horizons and embracing new opportunities and challenges."

Mike Smith was made managing director of Columbia Records U.K. in 2006 and went on to lead the label to sustained commercial and critical success. Artists signed to Columbia during his tenure include Calvin Harris, Mark Ronson, the Ting Tings, MGMT, Magnetic Man, Katy B, the Vaccines and Ryan Adams. Smith also oversaw campaigns for Columbia-signed acts Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Foo Fighters, AC/DC, Kings of Leon, Kasabian and Avril Lavigne, among others.

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, Smith was director of A&R at EMI Publishing.