James Murdoch stepping down as News International executive


News Corp. announced on Wednesday that James Murdoch will be stepping down from his role as News International's executive chairman.

The company said that Rupert Murdoch's heir will now focus on the company's international TV branch, remaining as deputy chief operating officer of News Corp., according to the Associated Press.

James Murdoch's role at News International came under scrutiny because of the phone-hacking scandal that involved many of Rupert Murdoch's publications. News International owns the Times, the Sun and the now-closed News of the World titles.

An inquiry into the phone-hacking practices at the British tabloid News of the World led to its being shut down, and further investigation revealed that it was not confined to that paper alone. Detective Chief Superintendent Phil Williams told the media ethics inquiry today that the illegal eavesdropping was "probably quite widespread," according to the Associated Press.

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Rupert Murdoch, the chairman and chief executive at News Corp., said, "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," according to the BBC.

James Murdoch's parting words were: "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," according to The Street.

Tom Mockridge, the chief executive officer at News International, will be taking over James Murdoch's post.

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