Garland upped to CEO at Syco

Insider replaces Ellis Watson

LONDON — Simon Cowell’s Syco Entertainment has tapped an insider to run its global TV biz following the departure of Ellis Watson more than 12 months ago.

Chief operating officer Charles Garland takes over as worldwide CEO with immediate effect.

A key part of his job will be running Syco’s TV production arm as Fox gears up for the second season of the U.S. version of “The X Factor” this fall.

Garland joined Syco in March 2011 from Crystal Entertainment. He had previously worked at 19 Entertainment for eight years.

Watson was appointed in March 2010, but quit nine months later because he said it was difficult to balance his home life in Scotland with Syco’s expansion across the Atlantic.

In a statement, Cowell said: “Syco is a global business operating across 167 countries, working alongside the world’s most important commercial clients and talent.

“I want to build on that success to ensure that Syco is one of the most important and respected entertainment businesses in the world. I have a fantastic team of people at Syco and wanted someone they respected and trusted.”

Syco is a joint venture between Cowell and Sony Music Entertainment.

In the U.K., Cowell’s “Got Talent” show is coming under intense competition from John de Mol’s “The Voice” as the two shows battle it out on ITV1 and BBC1 respectively.

On Saturday “The Voice” won the ratings battle for the first time. The show generated 10.7 million viewers, a 45.5% share, between 7 p.m. and 8.20 p.m., while “Britain’s Got Talent” drew 9.6 million viewers on ITV1, rising to 10.2 million with ITV1+1, a 40.1% share between 8 p.m. and 9.15 p.m.

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