SIMON Cowell is laying off nearly all of his staff at his Syco business and “downsizing” after nearly 20 years.
The Sun can reveal the music mogul has chosen to shore up his multimillion-pound global empire – which has sold more than 250 million records worldwide – to focus on family life.
In recent days, many of Simon’s staff have started “leaving” conversations – including some of his closest confidants who have worked with him for decades.
A source said: “Simon has reached a point in his life where he doesn’t want the stress of running a global empire and has therefore made the difficult decision to close 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 was best for him and his family.
“Running his business internationally – particularly during the pandemic and since his cycling accident – has become exhausting and it’s understandable that Simon now wants to focus on other things, and in particular his family.”
Simon, 62, who set up the company as a record label in 2004, will now focus solely on being a TV personality and is due to start filming the next series of Britain’s Got Talent in London on Sunday.
The source continued, “Simon’s decision will give him more time to focus on what he loves.
“In addition to spending time with his family, he loves BGT and its American counterpart America’s Got Talent and would love to continue appearing on those and being in front of the camera for years to come.”
The news comes after Simon popped the question to his partner of eight years, Lauren Silverman.
The Sun revealed how Simon proposed to Lauren, 44, on Christmas Eve in Barbados earlier this week.
Simon and Lauren welcomed son Eric, seven, in 2014 and insiders said spending more time with his son had become a priority.
His cycling accident in August 2019, which nearly paralyzed him and saw him lying for months with a broken spine, also put life in perspective.
The source said: “Simon puts his relationship with Eric above all else.
“After he was born, Simon’s life changed forever and work became secondary to Eric and being with him.
“As Eric has grown, this has become even more important to Simon.
“He quit judging his own TV show Walk The Line last year because he didn’t want to spend less time with Eric and Lauren.
“The bicycle accident he had less than two years ago was also a big wake-up call. He needs to be more present for Eric and Lauren.
“By focusing on his on-screen roles, Simon will be freed up to spend even more time with them.”
Thanks to Syco, Simon has amassed a fortune which, according to Forbes, stands at £492.9million.
He launched the brand as a record label, S Records, in 2004 before forming a new partnership with Sony Music and renaming the company Syco Entertainment six years later with three branches in music, TV and film.
In July 2020, Simon bought out Sony Music’s stake in the company and left Syco Music – which had previously signed stars such as Little Mix and One Direction.
Simon’s television arm is his biggest asset, with his record-breaking Got Talent franchise airing in 69 countries around the world.
The next series of the hit UK version of the show begins filming on Sunday with the show airing on ITV in the spring.