James Murdoch Steps Down From BSkyB
James Murdoch, son of Rupert Murdoch, and a key member of Murdoch’s communications and broadcasting empire, has resigned as chairman of BSkyB. The resignation comes as a result of increased scrutiny over its hacking scandal.
BSkyB said Nicholas Ferguson, currently deputy chairman, would succeed Mr. Murdoch as chairman. Mr. Murdoch continues to be a nonexecutive director of the company.
‘I am aware that my role as chairman could become a lightning rod for BSkyB and I believe that my resignation will help to ensure that there is no false conflation with events at a separate organization,’ Mr. Murdoch wrote in a letter to the BSkyB board that was made public by the company.
The Murdoch family has a roughly 40 percent stake in BSkyB that it had hoped to expand to strengthen its hold on the British satellite television business. Along with its news division, Sky also operates lucrative sports, movie and general entertainment channels.
But as the hacking scandal within its British newspaper holdings gripped the nation last July, the family announced that it was withdrawing a $12 billion bid to buy complete control of the broadcaster — a major setback to its corporate planning and European ambitions.
Almost immediately, analysts began speculating about Mr. Murdoch’s tenure as chairman.
Speculate no more. He’s gone. He already resigned as head of the newspaper properties that came to be the center of the hacking scandal.
I think we might expect to see him resign from other portions of the News Corp empire that he still has contact with - effectively pushing him from the company altogether.