Just months after Paula Abdul headed for the door, her former fellow American Idol judge Simon Cowell has announced that he is also leaving the hit Fox show. "I wanted to do something different. I wanted a new challenge," Simon explained about his shocking departure from the judge’s table after nine seasons at the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour in Pasadena, Calif., on January 11. The ever-busy British mogul’s next move will be bringing his U.K. singing competition series, X Factor, to the U.S. in 2011. Despite his surprise exit and new gig, Simon insists he is fully satisfied with his longtime series. "I'm very proud of what the show has achieved," he added. With his larger-than-life personality, who could possibly replace the sharp-tongued judge in season 10? "We have to take our time on that," Fox Chairman Peter Price said in response to the hot question. "We have to make sure the chemistry of the judges is as good as it can be." Former judge Paula left the show in August after rumored contract disputes. Luckily, Simon isn’t leaving just yet — catch him along with Randy Jackson, Kara DioGuardi and new judge Ellen DeGeneres in the new season, premiering on Tuesday, January 12 at 8 p.m. ET.