James Murdoch has stepped down as executive chairman of News International, News Corps’ UK company in charge of its newspapers, AP reports.Earlier this month a shareholder group was petitioning for James to step down, claiming he was “inextricably linked” with News Corp’s failure to properly handle last year’s huge phone hacking scandal.
AllThingsD has a statement from News Corp, which includes a the comment from James’ father that his son “will continue to assume a variety of essential corporate leadership mandates, with particular focus on important pay-TV businesses and broader international operations.”
Tom Mockridge, currently Chief Executive Officer of News International, will continue in his post, reporting to News Corporation President and COO Chase Carey.
As GuidoFawkes notes, Murdoch appears to be remaining in his position at BSkyB, the UK Television wing of News Corp.
UPDATE: Full statements from James below:
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. 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.
And the full statement from Rupert:
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. 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.
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