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[UPDATE] L.A. Reid Leaves Def Jam for X Factor

[Editor’s note: This story has been changed since it’s original version.]  

Rumors of Antonio “L.A.” Reid leaving his position as chairman of Island Def Jam has circulated for some time now but it has finally been confirmed.

A source revealed to Billboard that Reid will be leaving the label to become a judge on Simon Cowell’s upcoming TV show, The X Factor. The American version of the popular British series will begin airing on Fox in September.

Barry Weiss, who was previously in charge of RCA/Jive, will replace Reid. Weiss was named chairman and CEO of Island Def Jam Music and Universal Motown Republic today.

A spokesperson for Universal Music Group, IDJ’s parent company, offered this statement on Reid’s move: “We wish him all the best with his new career choice and thank him for his contributions to UMG over the last several years.”

Many are speculating that Reid will eventually  join his former Universal boss Doug Morris at Sony Music. The industry heavyweight will become CEO of Sony on July 1.

Reid was appointed to the coveted role at Def Jam back in February of 2004, succeeding longtime label head Lyor Cohen. The record exec is responsible for signing such big name acts as Young Jeezy, Rick Ross and most recently Shyne. —Nicole LoPresti

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