Indian-origin executive among top new appointees at News Corp


New York:

News Corp today announced a major restructuring of its top management in line with its decision to split into two publicly traded firms, naming a new head for its troubled British newspaper arm and appointing an Indian-origin executive to head the publishing business' finances.

The company said Dow Jones Editor-in-Chief and Managing Editor of The Wall Street Journal Robert  Thomson will become the CEO of the new proposed publishing entity, following the company's intended separation into two independent, publicly traded companies.

In the new role, Thomson will have to confront a lingering scandal in the UK News Corp that closed its News of the World newspaper in July 2011 after a phone hacking scandal.

The publishing entity would retain the name of News Corporation and the media and entertainment company would be named Fox Group.

News Corp Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch would serve as Chairman of the new News Corporation and Chairman and CEO of Fox Group. 

Murdoch announced that Bedi Ajay Singh, who had most recently served as President, Finance and  Administration and Chief Financial Officer for MGM Studios, would assume the role of Chief Financial Officer  of the newly formed publishing company. A fellow of the UK Institute of Chartered Accountants,

Singh had previously served as CFO at Novartis Pharmaceuticals and SONY Pictures Entertainment.

Prior to 2000, he held a number of positions at News Corp, including senior finance roles at News  International and 20th Century Fox.

Under the collective new leadership, Fox Group would continue to strengthen its creative content businesses and distribution assets, including enhancing its sports portfolio through key investments in Asia, Europe and  Latin America, the company said.

Murdoch's son James Murdoch would continue in his capacity as Deputy Chief Operating Officer of the Fox Group. As part of a digital restructuring initiative, the company would also cease standalone publication of The Daily iPad app on December 15.

"From its launch, The Daily was a bold experiment in digital publishing and an amazing vehicle for innovation. Unfortunately, our experience was that we could not find a large enough audience quickly enough to convince us the business model was sustainable in the long-term," Murdoch said in a statement here.

Under major organisational changes in London, Tom Mockridge, who has served as CEO of News  International since July 2011, would leave the company at the end of the year "to pursue other opportunities."

Mockridge would be replaced by Mike Darcey, who has served as Chief Operating Officer of BSkyB since  2006.

"Darcey is a world-class executive with unprecedented strategic and commercial experience and I look  forward to benefiting from his many talents," Murdoch said.

In June this year, News Corp had announced that it ntends to separate its publishing and media and  entertainment businesses into two distinct publicly traded companies.

The global publishing company that would be created through the proposed transaction would consist of the company's publishing businesses, its education division and other Australian assets.

The global media and entertainment company would consist of the company's cable and television assets,  filmed entertainment, and direct  satellite broadcasting businesses.

The separation is expected to be completed by June next year subject to final approval from the Board of  Directors, stockholders and regulators.

Story first published on: December 03, 2012 22:13 (IST)

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