In a long-anticipated move to make him the heir-apparent to CEO Rupert Murdoch, son James Murdoch has been named Deputy COO and Chairman/CEO, International, at New Corporation. He’ll relocate to headquarters in New York from London, but maintain direct responsibility for operations in Europe and Asia.
“Around the world, the Company’s operations are increasingly fit and focused on priorities that can over time produce very significant returns. I feel extremely fortunate to continue to support News Corporation’s international growth and also be given the chance to contribute to important initiatives across the Company. Most of all, I am delighted to work even more closely with Chase Carey, whose extraordinary leadership is felt in every part of the business,” said a statement by James Murdoch. The company announcement said he will continue to report to News Corporation Deputy Chairman, President and COO Chase Carey and work closely with his father, Rupert Murdoch, Chairman and CEO.
“James has demonstrated in an array of roles that he is a shrewd and decisive operator who can deftly navigate complex issues to transform businesses. He has equally shown a unique understanding of the emerging technologies and the digital forces that are reshaping our industry,” said Carey. “As we become increasingly global and consumer focused, we believe there are real opportunities to add new dimensions to our core businesses. We are confident that James’ deep knowledge of international markets, his proven leadership, and his passionate focus on building consumer relationships make him the ideal person to help us realize these opportunities across all our companies.”
James Murdoch’s promotion comes shortly after his sister, Elisabeth, struck a deal to rejoin News Corporation as a director, once it closes on a $673 million acquisition of her TV production company.
For his part, James is the Murdoch offspring who’s stayed put in the family business, unless you want to count his stint at partly-owned BSkyB as leaving. Here is his bio from News Corporation:
“Mr. Murdoch has spent the past 15 years in senior roles at News Corporation successfully building businesses in a number of regions, and developing a reputation for discovering underserved markets, maximizing new technologies and delivering results.
He has been Chairman and Chief Executive, Europe and Asia for News Corporation as well as Executive Chairman, News International, since 2007. In these roles, he has been responsible for the strategic and operational development of the Company’s television, newspaper and related digital assets in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. During his tenure, he oversaw a successful reorganization of the STAR Group; expanded the Company’s television businesses in India, Turkey, Germany and the Middle East; strengthened the performance of the Sky-branded pay-TV platforms and championed the development of a pay model for digital journalism.
From 2003 to 2007, he served as BSkyB’s Chief Executive Officer, where he transformed the company — implementing long-term growth strategies, improving content offerings and embracing broadband and telephony — doubling the size of the company and revitalizing the brand.
Earlier, Mr. Murdoch headed News Corporation’s Asian television group STAR, which was a money-losing operation when he became Chairman and CEO in 2000. Mr. Murdoch’s strategic focus on developing the pay-tv market in India led to resurgence for the group, which delivered approximately $100 million in operating profit last year. Today, the Company’s Indian channels are the most watched in the country and India has become one of the fastest growing territories for the Company.
Mr. Murdoch first joined News Corporation in 1996 as an Executive Vice President based in New York responsible for a number of digital media ventures and corporate development projects.
He is currently Non-Executive Chairman of BSkyB. He rejoined the Board of News Corporation in 2007, and is a Non-Executive Director of GlaxoSmithKline and Sotheby’s.”