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Cowell’s Syco Taps Watson as CEO

Simon Cowell’s venture with Sony Music Entertainment is producing U.S. version of ”X Factor“ for Fox

Ellis Watson has been named CEO of Syco Entertainment, a joint venture between Simon Cowell and Sony Music Entertainment, it was announced Friday. He joins the company effective April 26.

Watson, who reports directly to Cowell, will oversee the global development of Syco Entertainment, its properties and commercial strategies.

Based in London, Watson also will oversee the expansion of Syco in the U.S. and the preparation for the 2011 launch of "The X Factor" on Fox.

Watson’s resume includes a stint as managing director of Celador International, leading licensing of the "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" format in more than 100 countries.

He also has been marketing director of the Sun and News of the World, and head of News International’s digital businesses.

In a statement, Cowell said of Watson: "His broad experience in TV and media will be a huge asset" to Syco.

Rolf Schmidt-Holtz, CEO of Sony Music Entertainment, said in a statement: "[Watson] is a seasoned television executive who has the leadership skills and expertise to build the venture as it expands across platforms and markets around the world."

Watson said in a statement: "I’ve got the most exciting job in entertainment anywhere in the world."