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Murdoch confirms Fox CEO change

James Murdoch

James Murdoch

21st Century Fox has confirmed James Murdoch will succeed his father Rupert as company CEO.

Following the changes, which take effect on July 1, Murdoch Sr. and his other son, Lachlan, will be executive co-chairman of the US-based media giant, with James moving up from his current COO post.

While the 84-year-old Murdoch Sr. will still be a key figure in the business, the move is still being widely received as a seismic change in the global media industry.

For James, the move completes a turnaround in his corporate standing after the News International phone hacking scandal forced him to quit his post as chairman of Fox-controlled European satcaster Sky.

Lachlan, meanwhile, remains as co-chairman of Fox sister News Corp., executive chairman of Nova Entertainment and exec chair of Network Ten investor Illyria. He has been co-chairman of Fox since March last year.

The Murdoch family has long controlled NASDAQ-listed Fox though ownership of 39% of voting shares.

Chase Carey – who was previously co-COO, president and deputy chairman – will take on an executive vice chairman post, which he will remain in until the end of his contract on June 30, 2016.

Going forwards, the firm’s corporate, film and television operations will all now jointly report to Lachlan and James Murdoch.

The Fox business comprises various business including film studio Twentieth Century Fox Film, Twentieth Century Fox Television, broadcast network Fox, cable channels such as FX and Fox News, more than 300 networks at Fox International Channels, a 39% stake in Sky, Star India, and a 50% stake in Endemol Shine Group.

“It has always been our priority to ensure stable, long term leadership for the company, and these appointments achieve that goal,” said Rupert Murdoch.

“Lachlan and James are each talented and accomplished executives and together, we, as shareholders and partners, will strive to take our company to new levels of growth and opportunity at a time of dynamic change in our industry.”

“We are both humbled by the opportunity to lead, with our father and the talented team of executives at 21st Century Fox, this extraordinary company,” added James and Lachlan Murdoch in a joint statement.