Simon Cowell is letting go of ‘almost all his staff’ at Syco and significantly downsizing the multimillion pound entertainment empire after almost 20 years.
The music mogul, 62, who has repeatedly discussed his resistance to marriage, sent shockwaves earlier this week when it was revealed he had popped the question to his girlfriend Lauren Silverman, 44, and he is now said to be focused on family.
Insiders revealed Simon has begun downsizing the company: ‘Simon has reached a time in his life when he doesn’t want the stress of running a global empire and so has made the difficult decision to wind down Syco.’
A production source told MailOnline: ‘Everyone who has worked with him is just incredibly grateful for those opportunities and experiences and they understand the direction he wants to take things. Those that are leaving will be snapped up fast’.
Moving on: Simon Cowell is letting go of ‘almost all his staff’ at Syco and significantly downsizing the multimillion pound entertainment empire after almost 20 years
Simon, who shares son Eric, seven, with his fiancée Lauren, has spoken in the past about his ‘ unhealthy addiction to work’ and needing to slow down, after breaking his back in a bike crash last year and falling down the stairs in 2017.
Syco Entertainment is a media entertainment company, based in both London and Los Angeles, and founded and owned by Simon. Having previously centered on music, the company currently focuses on TV production.
The company owns The X Factor and Got Talent franchises while the music branch oversees a slew of talents founded on the respective shows.
Simon is said to be ready to pull back on his work commitments after nearly two decades at the helm of Syco Entertainment as he prepares for married life.
A source told The Sun: ‘Simon has reached a time in his life when he doesn’t want the stress of running a global empire and so has made the difficult decision to wind down Syco. Obviously everyone involved, including Simon, is very sad…
‘It really is the end of an era. Simon made this decision with a heavy heart but after much deliberation he had to do what is best for him and his family…
Sweet: The music mogul, 62, who has repeatedly discussed his resistance to marriage, sent shockwaves earlier this week when it was revealed he had popped the question to his girlfriend Lauren Silverman, 44, and he is now said to be focused on family
Big decisions: Syco Entertainment is a media entertainment company, based in both London and Los Angeles, and founded and owned by Simon. Having previously centered on music, the company currently focuses on TV production
‘Running his business internationally – especially during the pandemic and since his bike accident – has become exhausting and understandably Simon now wants to focus on other things, and particularly his family.’
Ahead of beginning to film the new series of Britain’s Got Talent this Sunday, the insider explained that he wants to focus on what he loves.
The source went on: ‘Simon’s decision will give him more time to concentrate on what he enjoys. As well as spending time with his family…
‘He loves BGT and its US counterpart America’s Got Talent and he’d like to continue appearing on those and being in front of the camera for years to come.’
Syco’s Biggest Names
One of company’s biggest names was One Direction, who signed to the record company after coming third on the X-Factor in 2010.
The group is comprised of Zayn Malik, Harry Styles, Liam Payne, Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan – who have all since forged successful solo careers after their split in 2016.
Little Mix became the first group to win the X-Factor in 2011, and have since emerged as one of the show’s most successful acts.
The group have been named as one of the greatest girl groups of all time, the biggest girl group of the 2010s, and been described as ‘the biggest girl group in the world.’
Band members include Perrie Edwards, Leigh-Anne Pinnock and Jade Thirlwall – with Jesy Nelson leaving in 2020.
Camila Cabello is a Cuban-born American singer and songwriter. She rose to prominence as a member of the girl group Fifth Harmony, formed on The X Factor in 2012.
She has amassed billions of streams on music platforms, and her song Havana became the best selling digital single of 2018.
Another star included Leona Lewis, who won the third series of the X-Factor in 2006.
The lead single on her debut album Bleeding Love spent seven weeks at number one in 2007.
Leona became the first British female solo artist to reach the top five with eight singles after the release of her Christmas single with One More Sleep.
Fifth Harmony finished third on the American version of the X-Factor in 2012, and subsequently signed a record deal with Syco.
Members include Ally Brooke, Dinah Jane, Lauren Jauregui, and Normani Kordei.
Camilla Cabello was also in the band before deciding to go solo.
Westlife consists of Shane Filan, Markus Feehily, Kian Egan, Nicky Byrne and formerly Brian McFadden.
In Ireland, they have 11 number-one albums with a total of 13 top two albums, 16 number-one singles as well as 34 top-fifty singles.
Alexandra Burke won the fifth series of X-Factor in 2008,
Burke released the winner’s single Hallelujah, which became the European record holder for the most singles sold over a period of 24 hours, selling 105,000 in one day.
In June 2014, Burke replaced Beverley Knight in the lead role of Rachel Marron in the West End musical The Bodyguard
Ella Henderson came sixth in the 2012 series of the X-Factor, despite being a favourite to win.
Her debut album included the song Ghost, which topped the charts of 2014.
Speaking to MailOnline, a production source who works close to the mogul and his staff said: ‘The experience and launchpad Syco gives its employees is completely unique and working alongside Simon is a huge opportunity…
‘He has given so many careers and opportunities to so many people, both off screen and on screen. It’s not just the UK but with shows they make all over the world he indirectly opens the door for so many people…
‘I know Simon is an incredible mentor and working with him has taken so many people to the very top of the entertainment business all over the world…
‘And from what I’ve heard seems that everyone who has worked with him is just incredibly grateful for those opportunities and experiences and they understand the direction he wants to take things.
Family: Simon, who shares son Eric, seven, with his fiancée Lauren, has spoken in the past about his ‘ unhealthy addiction to work’ and needing to slow down, after breaking his back in a bike crash last year and falling down the stairs in 2017 (Eric and Simon in 2018)
‘Simon’s a very inspiring and loyal company leader and most of his staff have been with him for many years, yes, he expects people to work hard but those people leaving there will be the very best in the business…
‘Those that are leaving will be snapped up fast or probably likely to launch their own businesses as Simon always encourages them to be entrepreneurial, they are all creative and have masses of experience under their belts.’
A representative for Syco declined to comment when approached by MailOnline.
After being hospitalised when he fell down his stairs in 2017, Simon said of his work schedule: ‘I call it a wake up call because I think sometimes your body tells you you’re working too hard, for me it was the late nights, 2-7 in the morning…
‘You get addicted to it because it’s quiet, but it’s so unhealthy. It wasn’t a big deal what happened but it was a bit embarrassing, a bit of an oops moment. It was like having an MOT, in a strange way I’m kind of glad it happened.’
Happy news: Simon is said to be ready to pull back on his work commitments after nearly two decades at the helm of Syco Entertainment as he prepares for married life
On Tuesday, it was revealed that Simon had popped the question to his girlfriend during a trip to Barbados, before Lauren was spotted out in Malibu the following day flashing her $3.4million (£2.5m) engagement ring.
Despite Simon branding marriage ‘boring’, new reports claim that it was during lockdown that something shifted with Lauren.
The brunette beauty is said to have urged him to commit to their family life and ‘prioritise the present’ instead of spending time with his famous exes.
A friend told The Sun that ‘no one is more shocked about the change in Simon these past few years than Simon’, yet was told by Lauren that she needed a ‘commitment’.
They explained: ‘Not surprisingly, she didn’t appreciate Simon hanging out and holidaying with his harem of exes, particularly Sinitta who was forever lurking in the shadows.
‘Simon was told in no uncertain terms that it was him or his exes — Sinitta, Terri Seymour and Jackie St Clair — and, wisely, chose to prioritise his present and future, not his past.’
Former flame: The father-of-one has previously enjoyed high profile relationships with the likes of Sinitta (pictured in 2006) Jackie St. Clair and Terri Seymour and has remained close friends with his former flames
Simon, whose net worth is estimated to be approximately $600m, (£436m), certainly means business with the ring he presented Lauren with.
Alexandra Michell Gemologist Prestige Pawnbrokers of Channel 4’s Posh Pawn told MailOnline: ‘I would estimate this ring is a 15ct oval cut diamond, the stone is a colour D and internally flawless… the best grade on the market.
‘I’d estimate the retail value at $3.4million or £2.5 million. This is very classic in style; a single stone on a white gold or platinum band, to really show off the star of the show- the diamond.’
Jewellery experts at Steven Stone claim it’s worth a little less at $2.5m or (£1,820,000). Managing Director, Zack Stone, said: ‘Lauren’s ring looks to be oval shaped, which was the most popular shape of 2021 for celebrities.
Case of the ex: Former Page 3 model Jackie (left) dated Simon in the 1970s and maintained a strong friendship while Simon has remained close friends with ex Terri (right) ever since they dated from 2002 to 2008
‘The centre diamond is huge, approximately 20ct. It looks like it’s D colour, which makes it an incredibly high value stone. A ring like this would be worth $2,500,000 (£1,820,000) which is the highest value celebrity ring we’ve seen in the last 12 months.’
Eight years ago, Simon declared that he would always love his exes, saying: ‘The love I have for my ex-girlfriends will always be there, so I think that’s true love. People confuse ego, lust, insecurity with true love.
‘But for me, whether it’s Jackie, Mezhgan, Sinitta or Terri, they will be in my life forever. I genuinely love them.’
Simon Cowell’s love life: A timeline
We look back at the highs and lows of the X Factor creator’s complicated love life- from failed engagements to warring ex-girlfriends to his affair with Lauren…
Paula Hamilton (1977)
In 2011, model Paula, 60, one of the most famous faces of the 1980s, revealed that she lost her virginity to Simon. They dated in the 1970s and were childhood sweethearts (pictured in 1991)
In 2011, model Paula, 60, one of the most famous faces of the 1980s, revealed that she lost her virginity to Simon.
The star of the decade’s iconic Volkswagen Golf TV commercial said she was 16 at the time.
She told Daily Mail Weekend magazine that she lost her virginity to ‘a boy called Simon’.
Paula and Simon were childhood sweethearts while growing up in Hertfordshire in the 1970s, she said.
She also claimed, in contrast to his Mr Nasty image on TV, he was ‘very, very protective’ and stopped teachers vilifying her.
She went on: ‘I couldn’t read or write until I was 11. So I was called stupid and bullied by teachers. Simon was really important to me because he stopped them picking on me.’
Jackie St Clair (1970s)
Ex: Former Page 3 model Jackie dated Simon in the 1970s and maintained a strong friendship with Simon- even after they split (pictured in 2002)
Former Page 3 model Jackie dated Simon in the 1970s and maintained a strong friendship with Simon- even after they split.
Over the years she has travelled on holiday with him. She reportedly had an ongoing feud with Sinitta. Back in 2012 it was reported Sinitta flew home from Barbados early to avoid a showdown with Jackie after their famous fight in 2010.
At the time of the original fight, Sinitta accused Jackie of ‘evil lying’ by Sinitta as a row brewed over gossip surrounding Simon and the status of his engagement to his then girlfriend, Mezhgan Hussainy.
Sinitta believed that Jackie was blaming her for leaking stories about Simon and his Mezhgan.
Sinitta (The on-off 20 year romance)
In 2020, Sinitta suggested her on-off romance with Simon was ‘never really over’ until he had son Eric with girlfriend Lauren Silverman in 2014 (pictured 1980s)
In 2020, Sinitta suggested her on-off romance with Simon was ‘never really over’ until he had son Eric with girlfriend Lauren in 2014.
The pair had an on-off romance for 20 years after first meeting in the 1980s.
When asked when her and Simon had ‘finally called it quits’ on their love affair, the singer, 58, told New! Magazine: ”There was always an element of “well, it’s never really over.”
‘But when Eric was born that was it. I would never come between his family.’
Whole lot of history: The pair had an on-off romance for 20 years after first meeting in the 1980s
Discussing the ructions caused between her and Simon, she added: ‘[Lauren] and I were best friends. I’m really happy for them, but it was hard and caused a fallout.
Sinitta said she had a long-held belief that once Simon had stopped dating other women, they would eventually end up together, adding that she would have married him and ‘never’ fell out of love with him.
The pair have also been through shared heartache as Sinitta admitted she was still very close to the mogul, after revealing in 2013 she was previously forced to abort their baby in the 1980s following health complications.
Rollercoaster: Sinitta has previously said she believed she would marry the mogul (pictured 2013)
Simon Cowell And Louise Payne (1995)
It was previously reported Cowell was secretly engaged to Page Three girl Louise Payne, after she split from husband and Right Said Fred star Fred Fairbrass
It was previously reported Cowell was secretly engaged to Page Three girl Louise Payne, after she split from husband and Right Said Fred star Fred Fairbrass.
But their three-year relationship ended when the buxom blonde said she wanted to start a family with Cowell, but he was too busy.
Cowell apparently popped the question to the now-43-year-old in a lift during a business trip to New York, reported the Daily Star.
The pair met at a function in London in in 1995, after the end of Louise’s marriage to guitarist Fred, now 68.
They allegedly first exchanged numbers at the party which Cowell was attended with his brother Nicholas.
But during their first date, he had the flu and thought he had blown his chances. A year later they bumped into each other and began a romance.
The source added: ‘The relationship had its ups and downs. They split twice but he was so in love with her he kept trying to make it work.
‘After the third attempt, they split for good. It was just before he started on Pop Idol. Louise wanted kids and he knew he wasn’t ready.
‘He never stopped loving her, though. He was heartbroken.’
Simon And Georgina Law (2000)
Fling: The X Factor judge had a casual fling with former Page 3 model and dancer Georgina, who later spoke about their whirlwind romance
The X Factor judge had a casual fling with former Page 3 model and dancer Georgina, who later spoke about their whirlwind romance.
She said: ‘I met Simon at the Spearmint Rhino Club where I used to work occasionally. This was before Pop Idol so he wasn’t famous. He is a lovely man and we had a casual relationship for about six months.
‘We weren’t proper boyfriend or girlfriend, but we’d see each other regularly’.
Terri Seymour (2002- 2008)
Friendliest of exes: Simon has remained close friends with ex Terri ever since they dated from 2002 to 2008 (pictured in 2004)
Simon has remained close friends with ex Terri ever since they dated from 2002 to 2008, and he even threw a birthday party for her daughter Coco last year.
While Terri and Simon reportedly split over his desire to not have a brood – his situation is very different now, with him admitting in 2017 that their children often share playdates.
Terri has six-year-old daughter Coco with model boyfriend Clark Mallon, 29.
Terri and Simon were an item for eight years before their split, with the music mogul rumoured to have given her a £6million ‘parting gift’.
Simon And Dannii Minogue (2007)
Chemistry: In 2012, it was revealed Simon felt ‘genuine love’ for Dannii Minogue, 50, after a fling with the singer in 2007 (pictured in 2010)
In 2012, it was revealed Simon felt ‘genuine love’ for Dannii Minogue, 50, after a fling with the singer in 2007.
The music mogul admitted he felt ‘like a schoolboy’ around the Australian star during her time as a judge on the X Factor.
Details of the romance were revealed in a book entitled The Intimate Life Of Simon Cowell, written by former BBC journalist Tom Bower.
In the book, there were several quotes from Cowell speaking about the romance – even though Dannii and Simon had both denied it in 2008.
He is quoted as saying: ‘I had a crush on her. It was Dannii’s hair, the sexy clothes and the t**s. I was like a schoolboy. She was foxy. She was a real man’s girl. Very feminine.’
Mezghan Hussainy (2009- 2012)
Engaged: Simon went on to become engaged to Afghan-born make-up artist Mezhgan Hussainy in 2010, but they split in February 2012 (pictured in 2020)
Simon went on to become engaged to Afghan-born make-up artist Mezhgan Hussainy in 2010, but they split in February 2012.
The split only became public knowledge when Tom Bower published his unauthorised biography Sweet Revenge: The Intimate Life Of Simon Cowell.
The judge confessed in the book that he made a mistake asking her to marry him: ‘We came to the conclusion that I’m a hopeless boyfriend.’
He was reported to have given Hussainy a £5million mansion in Beverly Hills as compensation for the embarrassment of cancelling the engagement.
Carmen Electra (2012)
Lovestruck: In 2012, Simon confirmed he was dating former Baywatch star Carmen, 49 (pictured in 2012)
In 2012, Simon confirmed he was dating former Baywatch star Carmen, 49, however she didn’t get an invite to the star’s annual Caribbean jaunt in January 2013, as he was doted on by his coterie of exes.
Carmen who met Cowell when she was a judge on BGT said she ‘adored’ the X Factor supremo, but while he admitted they are dating he was very clear about the status of their relationship.
The music mogul told American Idol host Ryan Seacrest on his radio show: ‘She’s not my girlfriend. We’re people who date.’
Simon And Lauren Silverman (2013- now)
Congratulations! Simon proposed to his partner of eight years in front of their son Eric, seven, and Lauren’s son Adam, 16, from a previous relationship (pictured in November)
Simon proposed to his partner of eight years in front of their son Eric, seven, and Lauren’s son Adam, 16, from a previous relationship.
A source said: ‘Whilst Simon never thought he was the marrying type, he’s realised he’s met the woman of his dreams – and couldn’t be happier’
Simon met Lauren in 2013 when she was still married to millionaire property developer Andrew Silverman with news of the affair making global headlines.
Despite previously insisting that he ‘didn’t believe’ in marriage, the father-of-one reassessed his views after falling in love with Lauren – who was left ‘stunned’ by the shock proposal.
A source told The Sun: ‘Lauren was absolutely stunned and never in a million years expected Simon to pop the question. She burst into tears – happy tears – and obviously said yes straight away.
‘Lauren has been Simon’s rock over these past few years – supporting him when he broke his back, and through thick and thin generally. They make a wonderful couple.
‘Whilst Simon never thought he was the marrying type, he’s realised he’s met the woman of his dreams – and couldn’t be happier. In the words of Beyoncé, it was time to put a ring on it.’