Kim Williams has resigned from his post as chief executive of News Corp Australia.
The Australian Financial Review reports that former Herald and Weekly Times managing director Julian Clarke will replace Mr Williams.
In a statement to staff, Williams said he was resigning with “a heavy heart”. His full statement to the company is here.
Here’s the corporate announcement:
News Corp (NASDAQ: NWS, NWSA; Temp. ASX tickers: NNC, NNCLV) announced today that Kim Williams has resigned his post as chief executive of News Corp Australia, a role he has held since December 2011.
News Corp executive chairman Rupert Murdoch said, “I want to sincerely thank Kim, first for his nearly two decades of service to News Corp; but more importantly, for his loyalty and friendship to me and my family all of these years.
“From the early days when we opened Fox Studios Australia, to his tenacious work building Foxtel and FOX SPORTS into the powerhouse it is today, Kim has always operated with great integrity and skill. It was with that in mind that I turned to him and asked him to leave the security of the pay TV business and takeover the whole of our Australian operations as chief executive of News Corp Australia.
“Kim has been a steady and courageous leader at a time when our businesses have faced unprecedented pressure and economic challenges. I want to thank him for his unwavering commitment, and the blood, sweat and tears he has put into News Corp Australia. We wish him well in all future endeavours and look forward to continuing our friendship in the years to come.”
Mr. Williams was appointed chief executive of News Corp Australia after 10 years as chief executive of Foxtel. He previously held various executive positions, including as chief executive of Fox Studios Australia, the Australian Film Commission, Southern Star Entertainment and Musica Viva Australia, and served as a Senior Executive at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Chief executive of News Corp Robert Thomson said, “Kim feels now is the right moment to leave the company, which he has served for two decades, following the successful implementation of the first stage of News Corp Australia’s strategy to drive integration and improve efficiency, to invest in its editorial products and publishing system, and secure a path of growth in a multi-platform world.
“He has been a powerful, eloquent and effective advocate for media freedom and freedom of speech in Australia. His leadership against hastily conceived ‘reforms’ ensured that the vigorous and vital debate that has characterised our country will endure. We all owe him a debt of gratitude for that strong and principled stand.”
Mr. Williams said, “I am confident that I leave the company in a strong position and with good foundations for the future. It has been a privilege to work for News Corp across almost 20 years, and I have no doubt it will remain the most memorable element in my professional commercial life. News has many of the finest people in media in our country, and I salute them and their continuing efforts in their service of Australia and Australians.”
Added Mr. Thomson, “Kim leaves a remarkable, sustaining legacy at these companies and on modern media in Australia. He will no doubt continue to make important contributions to the development of a dynamic, outward-looking, meritocratic country.”
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