News Corp's James Murdoch resigned as director from three additional boards as he's cutting his ties to the company's UK newspaper division amid a phone- hacking scandal.
Murdoch stepped down on March 21 from the board of Times Newspapers Holdings, a body created by his father Rupert to guarantee the Times' editorial independence after he bought the newspaper in 1981, according to a filing to the UK's Companies House. He also resigned as director of Newscorp Investments and News International Publishers Limited, two units of News Corp's UK division.
Murdoch has given up several influential positions as lawmakers prepare a report about his role in a phone-hacking scandal that rocked News Corp and led to the closure of the News of the World tabloid last year. Auction house Sotheby's said March 16 that Murdoch will leave its board. He resigned from the board of GlaxoSmithKline Plc in January and stepped down as executive chairman of News Corp's UK unit News International, which publishes the Times newspaper, last month.
News Corp, based in New York, has said that Murdoch, 39, will focus on his main job as deputy chief operating officer to oversee the company's international television operations. Still, Murdoch also faces calls from investors to step down from the board of News Corp and as chairman of pay-TV company British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc. Miranda Higham, a London-based News Corp spokeswoman, declined to comment yesterday. The Telegraph reported Murdoch's resignation from the three UK boards earlier.
Murdoch's future at BSkyB hinges on a report that UK lawmakers are preparing on the phone-hacking scandal following testimony he gave that has been contradicted by former subordinates. The committee has questioned him twice for the new report.