L.A. Reid: I’m Leaving The X Factor

L.A. Reid appearing on The X Factor on FOX. Ray Mickshaw/FOX

The X Factor is about to lose another top talent, but this one isn't a contestant — he's a judge.

L.A. Reid announced Thursday, Dec. 13, that he planned to exit the show after the current season, citing his other job (as chairman and CEO of Epic Records) as the main reason for his departure.

"I have decided that I will not return to The X Factor next year," he told Access Hollywood. "I have a company to run that I've kind of neglected."

The music exec — who joined the singing competition in July 2011 and was the only judge aside from Simon Cowell to return in 2012 — said that he owed it to his company to get back to his day job. "I have a huge responsibility to a roster of artists," he explained. "It's kind of time for me to stop doing 'the me' show and get back to doing 'the them' show."

"It saddens me a little bit," he noted of his decision to leave, "but only a little bit."

The judge insisted, however, that there was no bad blood. "I have the utmost respect for Simon Cowell," Reid told The Hollywood Reporter of his fellow judge and the series' creator. "He is the very best, and I have had the opportunity to learn so much from him. Working with him on X Factor has been a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I'm honored to have sat on the panel with such incredible talent."

To Access Hollywood, he added: "I love Simon. We have a great relationship. We have fun together, we talk, we laugh, we do bad things, we're friends."

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