James Murdoch is stepping down as chief executive of BSkyB to take control of News Corp’s operations in Europe and Asia. The move is part of a huge reshuffle at the media group that will also see News International chairman Les Hinton move to New York to become chief executive of Dow Jones, publisher of the Wall Street Journal.
Murdoch, who is now in pole position to succeed his father Rupert, will be replaced at Sky by Jeremy Darroch, the company’s finance director. The younger Murdoch will take over from his father as Sky’s non-executive chairman.
Meanwhile, Times editor Robert Thomson will become publisher of the Wall Street Journal when News Corp completes its $5bn (£2.4bn) takeover next week.
James Murdoch has been chief executive of BSkyB – which his father founded 18 years ago and in which News Corp holds a 39.1% stake – since 2003.
He says: “The team at Sky has demonstrated the success that can be achieved with an appetite for change and a single-minded focus on customers. I am pleased to have the opportunity to become non-executive chairman and I look forward to supporting Jeremy in his role as chief executive.”