James Murdoch 'to quit BSkyB'

James Murdoch is reportedly set to step down as chairman of satellite broadcaster BSkyB following months of pressure to relinquish the role in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal at News International.

James Murdoch is reportedly set to step down as chairman of satellite broadcaster BSkyB following months of pressure to relinquish the role in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal at News International.

Mr Murdoch, former executive chairman of News International, could resign as early as today, according to Sky News, just weeks before a report by the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee into reporting practices at the News of the World.

It is also understood Mr Murdoch and his father Rupert, chief operating officer of News Corporation, have both been called to give evidence to the Leveson Inquiry later this month.

Mr Murdoch’s departure would come despite receiving backing from BSkyB shareholders, who reappointed him at the company’s annual general meeting last November.

Mr Murdoch serves as deputy chief operating officer at News Corp, BSkyB's controlling shareholder with a 39% stake and the owner of News International (NI).

NI publises British newspapers The Times, the Sunday Times and the Sun, and published the News of the World before it was shut down.

Mr Murdoch said in a letter to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) Committee last month that he accepts his share of the blame for not uncovering phone hacking at the Sunday tabloid sooner but denied he had turned a “blind eye” to allegations of criminal wrongdoing.

He was appointed chairman of BSkyB in December 2007, so has spent just over four years in the role. He was formerly chief executive of BSkyB between February 2003 and December 2007.

He was not reappointed as BSkyB chairman with ease, as a number of top investors raised concerns over how his links to the phone-hacking inquiry could damage the company’s reputation.

Nick Ferguson, who is deputy chairman, is expected to take over his role.

More in this section

IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox