Here is the email that went out from Antonio “L.A.” Reid to his staff today. What he doesn’t say is that, according to insiders, he will be taking the full-time gig as the first judge on Simon Cowell’s much-hyped U.S. version of The X Factor debuting on Fox this fall. Reid’s decision to exit isn’t surprising to recording industry insiders given that there’s so much movement atop all the music labels right now. Reid’s contract with Universal Music is up in December so he will get an early release. UPDATE: As Billboard expected, Barry Weiss, who recently arrived at Universal Music Group from Sony, will take on oversight of the group.

To my Island Def Jam family:

After much consideration, I have decided to leave my position as Chairman of the Island Def Jam Music Group.

I have always thrived on growth and the next great challenge, and I look forward with much enthusiasm to what the future holds.

I am extremely proud of our beautiful roster and all we have accomplished in my seven years with IDJ. We continue to have incredible success together with today’s most phenomenal superstars – Rihanna, Justin Bieber, Mariah Carey, Kanye West, Bon Jovi, Jennifer Lopez, Ne-Yo, Rick Ross, The Killers, The-Dream, Chrisette Michele, Jeezy and Ludacris to name a few.

I want to thank all of you for your amazing contributions.

With Warm Regards -
LA

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