Mike Smith started as an A&R man at MCA Publishing as a scout in 1988, where he signed Blur, Levitation and scouted The Smashing Pumpkins. He then moved to EMI Publishing in 1992 where he went on to sign acts such as PJ Harvey, Elastica, Supergrass, Teenage Fan Club, Doves, Starsailor, The Beta Band. The Avalanches, Gorillaz, The White Stripes, The Libertines, The Scissor Sisters, The Arcade Fire, and Arctic Monkeys, as well as resigning Blur and progressing to the position of Head of A&R. He also worked with artists such as Robbie Williams, The Verve and Beth Orton. Smith moved to Columbia Records UK in 2006 to work as the Managing Director. In 2006 he signedMark Ronson and Calvin Harris. In 2007 signings included The Ting Tings, MGMT, The Gossip and Glasvegas. The following year he signed Miike Snow and Lissie to the label and in 2009 Magnetic Man, Miles Kane and Paul Epworth. Band of Horses, Katy B, The Vaccines and Ryan Adams were all signed in 2010 and in the following year he signedMadeon and The Civil Wars. Acts he also looked after included Kings of Leon, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Foo Fighters, Matt Cardle, Ke$ha, Sleigh Bells, and Kasabian. In April 2012 Mike left Columbia to take up the role of President of Music at Mercury Records where he oversaw the signings of Iggy Azalea, The Vamps (British band) and Slaves (UK band) as well as signing Duke Dumont and The Strypes. With the formation of Virgin / EMI Records in 2013, from the merger of Virgin Records and Mercury Records, he signed The Chemical Brothers, The Libertines and Squeeze. Since 2010 Mike has been a trustee of the charity New Deal of The Mind which works to encourage job creation within the creative industries. Mike has been sketching the musicians he has spent his lifetime watching and in 2009 staged an exhibition of prints made from these drawings atRichard Goodall Gallery in Manchester. This was followed up in 2011 with a comprehensive show of his paintings, light boxes and prints at Somerset House. A further exhibition of the work was staged at Metropolis Group studios.