Recently produced U2's 'Atomic Bomb.'

As first tipped May 28 in Billboard, Steve Lillywhite has joined Columbia Records as senior VP of A&R. Lillywhite will report to Will Botwin, chairman of Columbia Records Group and will be based in New York.

In his new post Lillywhite will sign new artists, serve as creative consultant on projects and also provide hands-on production services.

Lillywhite decided to take on the role after conversations with Botwin and Don Ienner, chairman of Sony Music Entertainment/North America. "I found Don and Will to be truly inspiring and was convinced by the freedom they would allow me," Lillywhite tells Billboard.biz.

"Steve Lillywhite has worked on a lot of the most important records of the past thirty years and has produced some of the best records of all time," said Botwin in a statement.

Lillywhite has worked in the music business for over 30 years and has produced or mixed artists such as U2, Peter Gabriel, Talking Heads, Morrissey, Travis, the Dave Matthews Band and the Rolling Stones. He won two consecutive Grammy Awards, for his work with U2, taking home Record of the Year honors for "Beautiful Day" (2000) and "Walk On" (2001).

Most recently, after a stint as joint managing director of Mercury Records in London, he returned to Dublin to produce U2's "How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb" and Jason' Mraz's “Mr. A-Z."

“The American music market is really opening up at the moment and I believe there are some exciting opportunities here,” says Lillywhite.