FremantleMedia International CEO David Ellender to Exit

David Ellender has spent 12 years at FremantleMedia in various positions.

He spent 12 years at the RTL Group unit, which produces such format hits as "American Idol" and "The X Factor."

COLOGNE -- David Ellender, CEO of FremantleMedia International, the commercial and exploitation arm of X Factor and American Idol producer FremantleMedia, is leaving the company.

Ellender has spent 12 years at Fremantle, a unit of Bertelsmann-controlled RTL Group. He helped expand the global reach of the company's hit formats.

He said on Thursday that he was leaving to "pursue new challenges."

Of his departure, FremantleMedia CEO Cecile Frot-Coutaz said Ellender "played a significant role in shaping and growing FremantleMedia into one of the world’s leading independent media companies."

She added: "We would like to thank him for his vision, leadership and the huge contribution he has made to the company. We wish him continued success in all his future endeavors. The announcement of a new head of FremantleMedia International will be made in due course.”