Once thought to be the heir apparent to the throne of the media giant, News Corp. deputy chief operating officer Lachlan Murdoch resigned abruptly Friday, leaving some questions as to who will eventually succeed his father, chairman Rupert Murdoch.
Lachlan Murdoch, 33, was seen as the first in line to succeed his father -- his older sister, Elisabeth, and younger brother, James, also run News Corp. divisions -- and he had a successful run in piloting its flagship U.S tabloid, the New York Post, and its Fox television-station group.
While he will stay on the company’s board of directors, Lachlan Murdoch’s last day will be Aug. 31.
“I have today [Friday] resigned my executive position at News Corp. I will remain on the board, and I am excited about my continued involvement with the company in a different role,” Lachlan Murdoch said in a prepared statement.
“I look forward to returning home to Australia with my wife, Sarah, and son, Kalan, in the very near future,” he added. “I would like especially to thank my father for all he has taught me in business and in life. It is now time for me to apply those lessons to the next phase of my career.”
Rupert Murdoch, in a prepared statement, expressed sadness at his son’s decision but thanked him for his contribution to the business.
“I am particularly saddened by my son’s decision and thank him for his terrific contribution to the company and, also, his agreement to stay on the board and advise us in a number of areas,” Rupert Murdoch said.
“I have respected the professionalism and integrity that he has exhibited throughout his career at News Corp.,” he added. “His achievements include driving all of his reporting divisions to record profits and the New York Post to its highest-ever circulation. I am grateful that I will continue to have the benefit of Lachlan’s counsel and wisdom in his continued role on the company’s board.”