Rupert Murdoch, 92, to step down as chairman of Fox and NewsCorp after 70 years – and his son Lachlan is expected to take over
Rupert Murdoch announced today that he is stepping down as chairman of Fox and News Corp after 70 years – and that his son Lachlan is taking over.
The billionaire will take on the new role of chairman emeritus, saying “the time is right” to take on different roles and that “our businesses are healthy, just like me.”
His son Lachlan will become the sole chairman of Fox and News Corp after attending the companies’ annual general meetings in mid-November.
In an extraordinary letter to staff, Mr Murdoch, 92, owner of The Sun, Times and Sunday Times newspapers in the UK, said: “The time has come for me to take on different roles, knowing that we have truly talented teams and a passionate, principled leader in Lachlan.
“I’m really proud of what we’ve accomplished collectively over the decades. We have every reason to be optimistic for the years to come – I certainly am, and I plan to be here to participate. But the battle for freedom of speech, and ultimately freedom of thought, has never been more intense.
Insisting he is not backing down from the day-to-day running of his empire, he said: “For my entire working life, I have been confronted with news and ideas on a daily basis, and that will not change. In my new role, I can guarantee that I will participate in the ideas competition every day.
Murdoch has been married four times and has six children. There has long been public speculation about which of his four eldest children – Prudence, Elisabeth, Lachlan and James, would succeed him.
Today it was confirmed to be Lachlan, who paid tribute to his father’s legacy.
Rupert Murdoch will take on the new role of chairman emeritus, with his son Lachlan becoming the sole chairman of Fox and News Corp.
Message from Rupert Murdoch to his colleagues in which he announces his departure from his post as president
In a statement, he said: “On behalf of the FOX and News Corp boards, management teams and all shareholders who have benefited from his hard work, I congratulate my father on his remarkable 70 years of career. .
“We thank him for his vision, his pioneering spirit, his unwavering determination and the lasting legacy he leaves behind in the companies he founded and the countless people he influenced.
“We are grateful that he will serve as Chairman Emeritus and know that he will continue to provide valuable guidance to both companies.”
A spokesperson confirmed Lachlan’s new role will start in late autumn.
The media mogul got into the newspaper business in the 1950s and became a major Hollywood executive in 1985 when he bought Twentieth Century Fox from oilman Marvin Davis for $600 million.
In a memo to employees, Murdoch wrote: “For my entire working life, I have been confronted with news and ideas every day, and that will not change.
“But the time has come for me to take on different roles, knowing that we have some really talented teams.”
Lachlan Murdoch, left, and Rupert Murdoch attend the TIME 100 gala in New York on April 21, 2015. Lachlan serves as chairman of News Corp and Fox starting in November
Media mogul Rupert Murdoch poses for a photo with his sons Lachlan and James. He has six children and is married