James Murdoch Steps Down as News International Chief

By Alex Weprin 

News Corporation executive James Murdoch has relinquished his post as executive chairman of News International, the unit that is at the center of the still expanding hacking scandal in the UK. Murdoch–the son of News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch–will remain with the company, focusing on pay-TV and international businesses.

While the hacking scandal hasn’t been in the news as much as it was last Summer, it is still being investigated in the UK, and has expanded to include a broader look at corruption in the tabloids there.

More information in News Corp.’s announcement, below.

New York, NY February 29, 2012 – News Corporation today announced that, following his relocation to the Company’s headquarters in New York, James Murdoch, Deputy Chief Operating Officer, has relinquished his position as Executive Chairman of News International, its UK publishing unit. Tom Mockridge, Chief Executive Officer of News International, will continue in his post and will report to News Corporation President and COO Chase Carey.

“We are all grateful for James’ leadership at News International and across Europe and Asia, where he has made lasting contributions to the group’s strategy in paid digital content and its efforts to improve and enhance governance programs,” said Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, News Corporation. “He has demonstrated leadership and continues to create great value at Star TV, Sky Deutschland, Sky Italia, and BSkyB. Now that he has moved to New York, James will continue to assume a variety of essential corporate leadership mandates, with particular focus on important pay-TV businesses and broader international operations.”

“I deeply appreciate the dedication of my many talented colleagues at News International who work tirelessly to inform the public and am confident about the tremendous momentum we have achieved under the leadership of my father and Tom Mockridge,” said James Murdoch. “With the successful launch of The Sun on Sunday and new business practices in place across all titles, News International is now in a strong position to build on its successes in the future. As Deputy Chief Operating Officer, I look forward to expanding my commitment to News Corporation’s international television businesses and other key initiatives across the Company.”