Lachlan Murdoch Resigns from News Corp.

Jul 29, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Lachlan Murdoch announced Friday that he will step down as deputy chief operating officer by Aug. 31 and return to Australia with his family.

“I have today resigned my executive position at News Corp.,” Mr. Murdoch said in a statement. “I will remain on the board and I am excited about my continued involvement with the company in a different role.”

Mr. Murdoch, 33, News Corp. Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch’s eldest son, will remain a director of the media giant. Rupert Murdoch has two other grown children: 37-year-old Elisabeth, who runs a London television production company and previously was managing director of British satellite company BSkyB; and James, 32, who is now CEO of BSkyB.

Lachlan Murdoch joined the company in 1994 and has served in many roles. Most recently he ran the company’s flagship newspaper The New York Post as well as the Fox owned-and-operated television stations.

Because Rupert Murdoch has been openly grooming his sons to take over the media conglomerate, questions were already being raised about what his next move will be.

In a move that seemed designed to clear up any suggestion that he might have pushed out his son, Rupert Murdoch said in a statement: “I am particularly saddened by my son’s decision and thank him for his terrific contribution to the company, and also his agreement to stay on the board and advise us in a number of areas. I have respected the professionalism and integrity that he has exhibited throughout his career at News Corporation.

“His achievements include driving all of his reporting divisions to record profits and the New York Post to its highest-ever circulation. I am grateful that I will continue to have the benefit of Lachlan’s counsel and wisdom in his continued role on the Company’s board.”