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article imageJames Murdoch severs all ties with News Corp in Britain

By Yukio Strachan     Mar 26, 2012 in Business
Following his move last month, James Murdoch has severed all ties with News Corp's British newspaper business which is at the center of phone hacking and bribery.
According to Bloomberg News, James, the youngest son of Rupert Murdoch and once the heir apparent at the $50 billion media company, stepped down on March 21 from the board of Times Newspapers Holdings, a body created by his father to guarantee the Times’ editorial independence after he bought the newspaper in 1981, according to a filing to the U.K.’s Companies House.
He also resigned as director of Newscorp Investments and News International Publishers Limited, two units of News Corp.’s U.K. division.
Murdoch is under scrutiny for his role in failing to uncover systematic illegal interception of phone calls at the News of the World newspaper, which was shut down last July, and stepped down as chairman of News Corp's UK publishing arm last month, Reuters UK reported.
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 would not return to his board position.
On March 14, 2012, James Murdoch informed the Board of Directors of his intention not to stand for re-election at the May 8, 2012 Annual Meeting of Shareholders in order to focus on his core responsibilities at News Corporation, where he serves as Deputy Chief Operating Officer.
On January 27, he gave up his position on the board of the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline.
Sir Chris Gent, the Glaxo chairman, said: "James has taken this decision to focus on his current duties as non-executive chairman of BSkyB, and following his decision to re-locate to the United States, as chairman and chief executive, international, of News Corporation.
"On behalf of the board, I would like to thank James for the very strong contribution he has made since he was appointed in 2009 and wish him well for the future," he added.
According to the New York Times, Last week, Mr. Murdoch released a letter to British lawmakers acknowledging that in 2009 when allegations of phone hacking came to light, he could have been more diligent in uncovering wrongdoing. But he maintained that he did not mislead lawmakers.
“I could have asked more questions, requested more documents and taken a more challenging and skeptical view of what I was told,” he wrote. “I will do so in the future.”
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