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He also became a judge on the first season of American Idol in 2002.With his notoriously critical reputation, Cowell has been likened to TV personalities such as Judith Sheindlin, and Anne Robinson of her show.By the time Cowell left American Idol, the show was on its seventh consecutive season in its leadership among all primetime programmes in the United States, even lasting up to 2011 in the longest winning streak in the US overall viewership and demographics in the Nielsen ratings. In 2004, with Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh, Cowell was a judge on the first series of the British television music competition The X Factor, which he created using his production company, Syco TV.The X Factor was an instant success with the viewers and enjoyed its tenth series in 2013.Cowell is the principal, founder and chief executive of the British entertainment company Syco.Cowell often makes blunt and controversial comments as a television show judge, including insults and wisecracks about contestants and their singing abilities. The Syco boss said that hiring Abdul as a judge gave the debut season of his Fox show an air of complacency, which had been corrected by the "interesting" additions of Britney Spears and Demi Lovato.
A lot of these one-liners were the product of coaching that Cowell received from noted publicist Max Clifford (who was sacked by Cowell after being convicted of sex offences as of May 2014).
Walsh was later brought back a week into the auditions by Cowell when he and Osbourne realised that they missed Walsh and that without him, there was no chemistry between the judges.
Cowell returned for the fifth series in 2008, with Walsh, Minogue, and new judge Cheryl Cole, as Osbourne had decided to quit before the show began.
He is popularly known for signing successful boybands such as Westlife, One Direction and CNCO.
In 20, Time named Cowell one of the 100 most influential people in the world.