A little over a year after News Corp. bought Shine Group—a television and film production company owned by Elisabeth Murdoch—she is stepping down as its CEO, choosing Alex Mahon as her successor.
Mahon, the company's chief operating officer, joined Shine Group in 2006 as a managing director of Shine TV. Beginning this September, Mahon will assume the role of chief executive with responsibility for the day-to-day management of Shine Group's 28 operating companies. Murdoch will remain chairman. Murdoch reportedly made the change because she believes Shine's growth "requires the chairman and CEO roles to be distinct and separate."
Not everyone believes this to be the real reason behind the shift. Some Wall Street observers cited by The Hollywood Reporter suggested that Murdoch's decision to drop the CEO title could also open her up for a broader role at News Corp. or its entertainment business.
Murdoch built her media company in 2001 alongside Waheed Alli, a British multimillionaire media entrepreneur and politician, with backing by telecom company British Sky Broadcasting PLC. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. purchased Shine—which is behind titles like The Biggest Loser and The Office—last April for $675 million, netting his daughter a reported $214 million in cash at closing.