James Murdoch bounces back from hacking scandal to replace father as Fox chief exec

James Murdoch has bounced back after presiding over the hacking scandal three years ago to be named chief executive of 21st Century Fox.

James, 42, takes over from father Rupert as head of the film and entertainment side of the family business on 1 July.

Fox was split from the less profitable publishing side of the business, News Corp, two years ago.

Murdoch senior will become executive co-chairman, along with his older son Lachlan, 43.

Rupert Murdoch remains executive chairman of News Corp.

James Murdoch’s reputation was damaged by the hacking scandal and allegations that the extent of wrongdoing at the News of the World was covered up on his watch (in charge of News Corp in Europe and Asia).
The revelation that the News of the World had listened to the voicemail messages of missing schoolgirl Milly Dowler scuppered News Corp’s bid to buyout BSkyB.

In 2011, former News Corp director of legal affairs Jon Chapman accused James Murdoch of giving misleading evidence to MPs.

James and Rupert Murdoch were subject to damning criticism by MPs on the culture committee in a 2012 report on the hacking scandal.

They said: “In failing to investigate properly, and by ignoring evidence of widespread wrongdoing, News International and its parent News Corporation exhibited wilful blindness, for which the companies' directors–including Rupert Murdoch and James Murdoch–should ultimately be prepared to take responsibility.”

The Murdoch family owns 14 per cent of News Corp and Fox, but controls both companies by commanding 39.4 per cent of the voting shares.

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