Simon Jones, who brokered the original deals to create “Pop Idol” in the U.K. and “American Idol” in the U.S., has joined Simon Cowell’s production company Syco as senior VP, operations and international.
In this newly created role, Jones will have operational responsibility for the business side of the company, including international sales of TV formats and developing ancillary businesses for all of Syco’s artists and formats.
Jones was formerly managing director of Fremantle Music TV and senior VP of talent for worldwide entertainment. He acquired “The Apprentice” for the international market, struck the deal with Syco for production of “The X Factor” and played a major part in securing Sharon Osborne as a judge for “X Factor.”
Previously, he was instrumental in working with 19 Entertainment, Fremantle and BMG to launch the “Pop Idol”/”American Idol” format and supervised its rollout to more than 30 countries.
He also set up Jamie Oliver’s production company Fresh and served as commercial director of ITV.
“I have known Simon for over 10 years. He is one of the smartest operators in the TV business,” Cowell said.