One of the top executives caught up in the News Corp. phone-hacking scandal has resigned from the company, The New York Times reports.
Rebekah Brooks, the chief executive of News Corp.’s British newspaper operations, stepped down Friday in what the Times calls "another stunning blow to [Rupert] Murdoch’s once all-powerful empire." The move comes as pressure mounts on the company from lawmakers and investors.
Brooks’ resignation follows word that the Murdochs — Rupert and son James — have reversed their decision about not testifying before U.K. lawmakers in the probe into alleged phone hacking by News Corp. journalists, which includes allegations of hacking into a murder victim’s phone. Rupert Murdoch and James Murdoch now say they will testify next week before a parliamentary panel.
Brooks, who was editor of the tabloid News of the World when the alleged incidents took place, has denied knowledge of the hacking. The newspaper has recently been shut down.
“My desire to remain on the bridge has made me a focal point of the debate,” Brooks said in an email to her staff at News International, the U.K. newspaper unit she ran. “This is now detracting attention from all our honest endeavours to fix the problems of the past. Therefore I have given Rupert and James Murdoch my resignation. While it has been a subject of discussion, this time my resignation has been accepted."