News Corp: James Murdoch out as head of UK publishing unit
NEW YORK — James Murdoch is giving up leadership of News Corp.’s scandal-plagued U.K. newspaper publishing business.
The son of company chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch had been executive chairman of News International, the publishing unit of News Corp that has been most directly affected by a phone-hacking scandal since last summer.
He gives up that title and will relocate to the company’s New York headquarters, keeping his corporate title as deputy chief operating officer. The company said he will now focus on its pay television businesses and broader international operations.
Tom Mockridge, CEO of News International, will retain that title and report to News Corp. President and Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey.
Shares of News Corp. (NWS) were up 1% in early trading following the announcement.
The U.K. publishing arm of News Corp. (NWS) has come under attack in the last year due to revelations that its reporters illegally listened to voice mails of celebrities and other news subjects.
Both James and Rupert Murdoch have been called to testify about the scandal before the British Parliament.
In September, James Murdoch declined to take a $6 million bonus he had been set to receive for the company’s last fiscal year, stating “While the financial and operating performance metrics on which the bonus decision was based are not associated with this matter, I feel that declining the bonus is the right thing to do.”
Rupert Murdoch did take a $12.5 bonus as part of his $33.3 million compensation package.
Also in September James Murdoch resigned from the boards of a pair of companies that publish News Corp’s UK newspapers, News Group Newspapers, which publishes The Sun, and Times Newspapers Ltd, which publishes The Times of London. The company also shut one of its tabloids, the News of the World, due to the scandal, and was forced to drop plans to buy the remainder of satellite TV company British Sky Broadcasting To top of page