Rupert Murdoch has stepped down from his role as director of a number of boards linked to his British newspaper titles.
The move was described as “nothing more than a corporate house-cleaning exercise” by News International, the UK publishing arm of News Corporation, which produces The Sun, The Times and The Sunday Times.
Mr Murdoch, chief executive of News Corporation, resigned from roles in News Corp Investments, News International Group Limited and Times Newspaper Holdings in the UK last week.
He has also stepped down from boards in the US, Australia and India.
A spokeswoman for News International said: “Last week Mr Murdoch stepped down from a number of boards, many of them small subsidiary boards, both in the UK and US.
“This is nothing more than a corporate house-cleaning exercise prior to the company split.”
The company said the move was part of plans to split News Corporation into separate newspaper and entertainment operations, announced last month.
It will see News Corp’s film and television businesses – including 20th Century Fox and the Fox broadcasting network – grouped in one company.
The other company would hold all News Corp’s publishing interests, such as The Wall Street Journal, The Times, The Sun, The Australian, The New York Post and publisher HarperCollins.
The entertainment arm would be by far the bigger operation, with the publishing division hindered in recent years by tough media market conditions and costs related to the UK phone hacking scandal.
News Corporation has been rocked by the hacking debacle, with Mr Murdoch and his son James coming under heavy fire.
A report by a committee of MPs claimed Rupert Murdoch was “not a fit person” to run an international company following an inquiry by the Commons Culture Committee investigating the News of the World scandal.
News Corp has been trying to prevent the scandal from infecting the rest of the group.
James Murdoch resigned as chairman of BSkyB in April, admitting he had become its “lightning rod”, just weeks after he quit as boss of News International.