Sunday 22 January 2017

James Murdoch to succeed father Rupert as head of 21st Century Fox

Published 17/06/2015 | 08:24

Lachlan Murdoch (left) with Rupert and James Murdoch, in 1998 -
Lachlan Murdoch (left) with Rupert and James Murdoch, in 1998 -
James Murdoch: gave evidence before inquiry

James Murdoch is to succeed his father Rupert as chief executive of media giant 21st Century Fox at the start of next month, the company has confirmed.

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The 42-year-old, who has faced pressure in recent years over the phone-hacking scandal involving the Murdoch-owned News of the World, will take over on July 1.

Rupert Murdoch, the 84-year-old founder of the company, and older son Lachlan, 43, will become executive co-chairmen of Fox - owner of the Fox TV networks and film studio 20th Century Fox as well as a 39% stake in Sky.

Reports of the handover of power had first emerged last week and have now been confirmed by the company in a statement.

Fox said corporate functions as well as TV and film operations will now report directly to the Murdoch brothers.

Rupert Murdoch said: "It has always been our priority to ensure stable, long term leadership for the company, and these appointments achieve that goal.

"Lachlan and James are each talented and accomplished executives and together, we, as shareholders and partners, will strive to take our company to new levels of growth and opportunity at a time of dynamic change in our industry."

The brothers said in a joint statement: "We are both humbled by the opportunity to lead, with our father and the talented team of executives at 21st Century Fox, this extraordinary company."

James Murdoch has been acting as co-chief operating officer at Fox, having previously headed BSkyB, which has since changed its name to Sky.

Mr Murdoch bowed to pressure to resign as chairman of BSkyB in April 2012 in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal. He had previously been executive chairman of the Murdochs' UK newspaper group.

Rupert Murdoch - who has six children - controls 39.4% of the voting shares at Fox through the Murdoch Family Trust.

He is also chairman of News Corp, which owns the Times and Sun newspapers, as well as the Wall Street Journal and New York Post in America. News Corp and Fox demerged in June 2013.

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