Cowell taps Ellis Watson to run Syco

New CEO will begin April 26; oversee U.S. 'X Factor' launch

Simon Cowell has tapped Ellis Watson to run Syco Entertainment.

Watson has been named CEO for Syco, a joint venture launched in January between Cowell and Sony Music Entertainment after Cowell regained partial control of his production company Syco, previously 100% owned by Sony.

The new Syco, a broader media and entertainment company, is 50% owned by Sony, with British retail magnate Philip Green also on board as a shareholder and advisor to Cowell.

In this new role reporting to Cowell, Watson will run Syco and its properties. Starting April 26 and based in London, he will also oversee the expansion of Syco in the U.S. and the preparation for the launch of the company's "The X Factor" on Fox in 2011.

Between 2000 and 2003 Watson served as managing director of Celador International, spearheading the licensing of the "Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?" format in more than 100 countries and the development of 130 ancillary "Millionaire" consumer product lines.

He most recently spent four years serving as a board member for John Menzies and FirstGroup plc.

"I've got the most exciting job in entertainment anywhere in the world -- it's not a vocation, it's a calling," Watson said.
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