(CelebrityAccess) – Mike Smith is leaving Downtown after nearly three years as Global President of Downtown Music Services (DMS). Downtown says that Smith, a renowned music industry veteran with a career spanning nearly 40 years, is leaving the company to pursue personal projects and focus on his charity work. Those works include board positions with EarthPercent, In Place of War, The Creative Society and the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Smith joined Downtown in 2020, and during that time, Downtown said Smith was “instrumental” in leading Downtown’s move from traditional music publishing models towards a services-based, “hands-on” approach. Downtown then merged with artist/label distro and marketing company DashGo. Together, they merged companies, forming a new division called Downtown Music Services, which has been led by Smith ever since.
Said Smith: “It has been my pleasure and privilege to lead Downtown Music Services through a significant period of restructuring and realignment that has seen it become a global leader in artist services.
“I have been very fortunate during my time at the company to work with a team of highly passionate, creative and artist-focused people and with many inspiring artists, labels and music publishers.
“I look back on our many achievements during the last three years with pride. After nearly 40 years at the coal face of the UK music industry, I have decided to take some time away from the day-to-day business of music to refocus my energies on a number of personal, creative projects and to devote more of my time to the charitable work that is so close to my heart. “
Additionally, Downtown announced today (March 30) Emily Stephenson has been promoted to President, Publishing and that Downtown Music Publishing, Songtrust, and Sheer will now be “aligned” under Stephenson’s leadership. Stephenson (based out of Nashville) most recently served as Vice President of Business Operations.
During her 10-year tenure at the company, she has been responsible for all aspects of publishing administration and client services for Downtown’s songwriter and publishing clients, including Ryan Tedder, Big Yellow Dog, and the John Lennon Estate.
In her new role, Stephenson will report to Downtown Music President, Pieter van Rijn, overseeing all publishing efforts, including client acquisition and business development, A&R, rights management, and client services for the group’s publishing companies – Downtown Music Publishing, Songtrust, and Sheer.