News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks has resigned after facing intense pressure from British lawmakers and the public over the News of the World hacking scandal, reports The Guardian. Brooks announced her resignation to company staff on Friday morning, saying that it had been accepted by Rupert and James Murdoch after some discussion, and thanking them both for their support.
“As chief executive of the company, I feel a deep sense of responsibility for the people we have hurt and I want to reiterate how sorry I am for what we now know to have taken place,” Brooks said in a letter to News International employees. “I have believed that the right and responsible action has been to lead us through the heat of the crisis. However my desire to remain on the bridge has made me a focal point of the debate.”
“As you can imagine, recent times have been tough,” she continued. “I now need to concentrate on correcting the distortions and rebutting the allegations about my record as a journalist, an editor, and executive. My resignation makes it possible for me to have the freedom and the time to give my full cooperation to all the current and future inquiries, the police investigations, and the CMS appearance.”
In a statement to News International staff, James Murdoch addressed Brooks’ resignation, thanking her for her 22 years at the company. She will be replaced by Tom Mockridge, a “a highly respected and accomplished media executive who has served as CEO of Sky Italia since its launch in 2003” who has also been in charge of News Corp.’s European television business, said Murdoch.
He added that this weekend, News International will run advertisements in all national newspapers to “apologize to the nation for what has happened.” The company will also send letters to its commercial partners with an update on the actions it is taking.