News Corp. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Rupert Murdoch resigned from three of the company’s boards, which include the News International newspaper division in the United Kingdom. The move was made to prepare for impending division of his media empire into publishing and entertainment businesses.
Aside from the News International newspaper division, they also stepped down as director of the Newscorp Investments and Times Newspapers Holdings. This was according to the U.K. regulatory filings. The News International is the publisher of the Times, the Sunday Times and the Sun in the United Kingdom.
Murdoch’s resignation came after his son James left the boards of News Corp.’s newspaper companies earlier this year. It also came after an expensive scandal at the U.K. newspaper operations that was seen as a hindrance on the rest of the business.
The two Murdochs had to appear before the British Parliament and explain how editors and reporters were able to illegally hack into mobile phones and pay public officials for stories without the notice of the executives. Tom Mockridge, head of the U.K. unit, came out with a memo to his staff stating that Murdoch remains fully committed to the business as chairman.
News Corp. announced last month its plans to divide into two publicly traded companies. The media-and-entertainment company will consist of TV and film assets. The publishing division will have newspapers in the United States, U.K. and Australia. Murdoch will be chairman of both entities and CEO of the entertainment business when the deal completes in about a year.
According to reports, journalists of the now defunct News of the World tabloid hacked into the voice-mail account of a murdered schoolgirl. The scandal disrupted News Corp.’s planned takeover of British Sky Broadcasting Group, which is Britain’s largest pay TV operator of which News Corp. owns 39 percent.