Syco bolsters exec roster

Cowell's firm hires Garland, Jones, Levendis

Syco Entertainment, owned by Simon Cowell and Sony Music, has tapped senior executive talent as it gears up for the U.S. bow of “The X Factor” and international expansion.

Crystal Entertainment founder and CEO Charles Garland becomes chief operating officer, while former 19 Entertainment topper Simon Jones is appointed chief operating officer of Syco Television USA. George Levendis, managing director of Greece’s Antenna TV, takes over as head of international.

In December, U.K. media topper Ellis Watson quit as CEO of Syco nine months after landing the gig. Watson had been employed to help spearhead the U.S. launch of “The X Factor” and beef up the firm’s international activities.

Garland and Jones will report to the Syco board and to Cowell, with Garland overseeing day-to-day running of the outfit.

Levendis is responsible for the international development of Syco TV hits, including “The X Factor” and “Got Talent,” working alongside FremantleMedia, whose production arm, Talkback Thames, produces “The X Factor.”