L.A. Reid Resigns From Island Def Jam Records To Join 'X Factor'

Legendary record executive steps down from chairman position for a spot on the judges' panel.

L.A. Reid resigned from his post as chairman of Island Def Jam Records on Thursday (March 17) and will join Simon Cowell's "X Factor" as one of the show's judges, according to a statement from the label sent to the BBC.

A memo from Reid obtained by MTV News opens with a quote from Colin Powell: "Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate and doubt, to offer a solution everybody can understand."

Reid goes on to say, "After much consideration, I have decided to leave my position as Chairman of the Island Def Jam Music Group. I have always thrived on growth and the next great challenge, and I look forward with much enthusiasm to what the future holds.

"I am extremely proud of our beautiful roster and all we have accomplished in my seven years with IDJ," the note continues. "We continue to have incredible success together with today's most phenomenal superstars — Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Mariah Carey, Kanye West, Bon Jovi, Jennifer Lopez, Ne-Yo, Rick Ross, The Killers, The-Dream, Chrisette Michele, Jeezy and Ludacris to name a few. I want to thank all of you for your amazing contributions."

Reid joined Island Def Jam in 2004 after a successful 15-year run at LaFace and Arista records in the late '80s through the early part of the millennium. He helped launch the careers of a wide array of superstars like Usher, Pink and Avril Lavigne, and is credited with revamping Mariah Carey's career in 2005.

Reid's contract with Universal Music Group was set to expire this December, and now that he has left the position early, he is free to take a position with Sony Music, the label that will provide the "X Factor" winner with a recording contract.

When reached by MTV News, a rep for "X Factor" had no comment on the judge choice.