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Mike Smith Stands Down As Warner Chappell UK Managing Director

Mike Smith has stood down as managing director of Warner Chappell U.K. with immediate effect.

LONDON — Mike Smith is standing down as managing director of Warner Chappell U.K. with immediate effect. The widely-respected exec said “family reasons” were behind his surprise exit from the publisher.

“My time at Warner Chappell has been hugely rewarding and I want to thank all of my colleagues around the world, and the amazing songwriting talent I’ve had the privilege to work with for their love and support,” said Smith in a statement.

He said the past few years have been a very special time for Warner Chappell’s U.K. arm, which celebrated four of its artists — Celeste, Dave, Foals and Stormzy — winning major prizes at this year’s BRIT Awards, held in London in February.

A joint statement from Guy Moot, Warner Chappell co-chairman/CEO and Carianne Marshall, co-chairman/COO, paid tribute to Smith calling him “an integral part of the Warner Chappell story over the last few years.”

“We’re sorry to see him leave and we wish him all the very best for the future,” said Moot and Marshall.


Smith was appointed managing director of Warner Chappell U.K. in 2016 and oversaw all the publisher’s operations in the world’s third biggest recorded music market (as per IFPI world rankings).

Prior to joining Warner Chappell, Smith — who started his career as a talent scout for MCA Music Publishing in 1988 — held senior roles at EMI Music Publishing, Columbia Records U.K., Mercury Records and Virgin EMI, where he was label president from 2013 to 2016.

Artists he signed to publishing or record deals during the course of his long and varied career include Blur, Elastica, Supergrass, The White Stripes, The Libertines, Scissor Sisters, Arcade Fire, Arctic Monkeys, Mark Ronson, Calvin Harris, MGMT, Iggy Azalea, The Chemical Brothers and Dave, among numerous others.

Commenting on his exit from Warner Chappell, Smith said the company was “in good hands under the guidance of Guy and Carianne” and wished everyone success for the future.

“We’re currently enjoying an amazingly creative period in our industry,” said Smith, “and I look forward to my next challenge, which I hope will be in the not too distant future.”

Moot and Marshall said they will announce “exciting news” about Warner Chappell’s new U.K. leadership team in due course.