March 17th, 2011
04:01 PM ET
Lips are sealed pretty tightly, but speculation is heating up that "X-Factor" has its first judge.
Reports are swirling that music industry mogul L.A. Reid has been tapped as the first to sit at the judge's table for Simon Cowell's new talent search.
Reid added to the speculation Thursday when he stepped down from his post 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," Reid said in a letter he sent out Thursday morning to his staff. "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."
Reid is well known in the industry, having co-founded LaFace Records with singer Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds in 1989. The pair had been members of the R & B group "The Deele" before forming their own label, which was responsible for discovering such acts as TLC, Usher, Toni Braxton and Pink.
Reid later became head of Arista Records, where he launched the careers of several artists, including Avril Lavigne.
When reached by CNN, reps for Reid and Fremantle Media – Simon Cowell’s partner company in “The X Factor” – declined to comment.
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