NEW YORK Dec 2 The chief executive of News
International, the scandal-hit British newspaper arm of Rupert
Murdoch's News Corp, will step down at the end of the
year, the company said on Sunday.
Tom Mockridge, who has served as News International's CEO
since July 2011, is leaving the company to pursue outside
opportunities, News Corp said in a statement.
The move comes as News Corp is preparing to name executives
to lead its new publishing company, which is being spun off from
its entertainment operations.
News Corp is expected to name Robert Thomson, a close
confidant of Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch, to lead its new
publishing company by the end of next week, people familiar with
News Corp's plans told Reuters on Saturday.
The departure of Mockridge, who was with News Corp for
nearly 22 years since joining the company in Australia, is the
latest executive shakeup at Murdoch's U.K. newspaper empire
which has been hit by a massive phone hacking scandal.
The phone hacking scandal at the now defunct
mass-circulation News of the World has damaged Murdoch's
reputation in Britain. James Murdoch, who was chairman of News
International when the revelations emerged, has already quit the
British newspapers and moved to the United States.