In what was one of the worst kept secrets in a medium not known for keeping secrets, 21st Century Fox chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch will officially hand over the CEO reins to his son James on July 1, with his other progeny Lachlan Murdoch assuming the role of co-executive chairman.
News of the shift first surfaced last week. In a statement Tuesday 21st Century Fox said that current chief operating officer Chase Carey will become executive vice chairman and serve in that role through June 30, 2016.
“It has always been our priority to ensure stable, long term leadership for the Company, and these appointments achieve that goal,” Rupert Murdoch said in a statement. “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.”
“I can’t thank Chase Carey enough for his friendship, counsel and leadership over the past decades,” Murdoch continued. “He will be actively engaged in supporting Lachlan and James as they step in to their new roles.”
Both James and Lachlan have been groomed for top spots at the company for years and are expected to work together in partnership running the company. The elder Murdoch, who at 84-years old is still in good health and a common presence around the office, is also expected to continue to be heavily involved in decision making at the company.
Chase Carey said: “I am grateful to Rupert for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime and truly believe there isn’t a Company out there that’s more exciting, with more growth potential, than 21st Century Fox. I look forward to continuing to work with Rupert to support Lachlan and James in their new positions.”
Lachlan Murdoch and James Murdoch, in a joint statement, said: “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.
We are grateful to Chase for being the leader and partner that he has been, and we are both delighted that his wisdom and sure handedness will continue to serve 21st Century Fox. We are also grateful to the Board for providing us the opportunity to lead this great company.”
“Most importantly, we each look forward to working with the entire team of creators, executives, artists and all of our colleagues that make up our global businesses, to steer the Company into the future, and to drive continued value for our shareholders.”
Rod Eddington, Lead Director, 21st Century Fox, said: “The Board has long been focused on succession and we’re fortunate to have two very talented executives in Lachlan and James to take this Company into the future. Working in tandem with Rupert, we’re confident their partnership and stewardship will give this business real momentum for many years to come. We are also deeply grateful to Chase Carey for his many years of exceptional leadership and his agreement to continue his contributions through his new position.”