News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch has described the News of the World phone hacking scandal as “a major black eye” for his company but remains confident the media and entertainment group will “put things right”. The comments are contained in his letter at the front of the company’s annual report.
“As has been widely publicized, our company has received a major black eye from the phone hacking scandal at our News of the World newspaper in the UK,” Murdoch wrote. “As I said at a parliamentary hearing, this episode has been the most humbling of my career. Let me be clear: the behavior carried out by some employees of News of the World is unacceptable and does not represent who we are as a company. It went against everything that I stand for.”
News Crop. director Joel Klein, a former DOJ official, has been given the job of “getting to the bottom of the matter”. Murdoch writes that the company is continuing to co-operate with “the relevant authorities in both the UK and the US” and has promised that “we will put things right”.
News Corp. does admit in the annual report detailing the News of the World investigations by the UK Parliament and litigation it all “could damage our reputation and might impair our ability to conduct our business”.
However, Murdoch’s letter is positive about businesses: “We are better positioned financially and operationally than we have ever been.” “I realize the current flavor of the day is economic pessimism, and it is clear that Europe in particular is in the midst of a period of extreme volatility. However, I am optimistic about the future because I believe that News Corporation will continue to shape it.”