April 4, 2012- James Murdoch has stepped down as the BSkyB chairman. On Tuesday, the son of Robert Murdoch and once his heir apparent left one of the most important positions in the media empire of his father. The idea is to distance the British Sky Broadcasting business from the ongoing phone hacking crisis that is worsening each day.
James Murdoch’s competence and credibility have come under fire of late because of the phone hacking scandal and the British newspapers’ alleged bribes that took place while he was in command.
Murdoch said his position as chairman was becoming a lightning rod for the broadcaster and felt his resignation would help make sure the broadcaster stays away from the scandal. His announcement on Tuesday was just one of many setbacks the young Murdoch has had to withstand of late.
In late February, he resigned as the News International chairman. The News is the troubled newspaper subsidiary of the group. He also quit the boards of Sotheby’s the auctioneer and GlaxoSmithKline the pharmaceutical giant.
Moving up to replace Murdoch at BSkyB was former deputy chairman Nicolas Ferguson. Taking Ferguson’s spot as deputy chairman was Tom Mockridge. Murdoch will stay on as the deputy COO of News Corp and CEO and chairman of the international arm of the company.