Rupert Murdoch will step down as chairman of Fox Corp (NASDAQ: FOXA) and News Corp (NASDAQ: NWSA), the media conglomerate announced Thursday.
Murdoch, 92, will depart from his role as chairman of the board at both Fox and News Corp following a nearly 70-year career. He is set to be appointed as chairman emeritus of each company.
His son, Lachlan Murdoch, is slated to become sole chair of News Corp and will continue to serve as executive chair and CEO of Fox. Murdoch’s departure will become effective in mid-November at each company’s upcoming annual general meeting of sharehZenger News.
“On behalf of the FOX and News Corp boards of directors, leadership teams, and all the shareholders who have benefited from his hard work, I congratulate my father on his remarkable 70-year career,” said Lachlan.
Born Keith Rupert Murdoch in Melbourne, Australia, he inherited his family media business after the death of his father in 1952.
Murdoch would expand globally in the U.K. and the U.S., where he established News Corporation as the hold companies that includes The Times in London, The Sunday Times, and The New York Post, which is based in the New York metropolitan area.
“We thank him for his vision, his pioneering spirit, his steadfast determination, and the enduring legacy he leaves to the companies he founded and countless people he has impacted. We are grateful that he will serve as Chairman Emeritus and know he will continue to provide valued counsel to both companies.”
Murdoch’s departure comes after Fox agreed to pay Dominion Voting Systems a $787.5-million settlement in April to resolve a lawsuit centered around false vote-rigging claims from the 2020 presidential election.
The move also comes a year ahead of the 2024 presidential election. Fox is the parent company of conservative-leaning networks Fox News and Fox Business. News Corp owns The Wall Street Journal, as well as other publications like the Herald Sun and The Times.
In a letter to employees, Murdoch said he will continue to be involved with news and ideas on a daily basis.
“Our companies are in robust health, as am I. Our opportunities far exceed our commercial challenges. We have every reason to be optimistic about the coming years – I certainly am, and plan to be here to participate in them,” said Murdoch.
Lachlan is the oldest of four children between his father Rupert and his mother Anna Maria Torv, who’s an Australian journalist and novelist. in the Murdoch family that includes his brother James, and his sisters Elizabeth and Prudence.
The eldest son was born in London and raised in New York City since he was three years old, Lachlan has been the dominant figure in the Murdoch family. He received his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Princeton University.
At 22-years-old, Lachlan was appointed as the general managers of Queensland Newspaper, Courier-Mail.
The eldest Murdoch child was already the third most powerful executive in News Corp with controls over several Fox TV franchises in the US and the New York Post.
Lachlan would return to Australia for a decade where he founded a private investment firm, Illyria, and developed his media portfolio. He would return to the family fold in 2014 following an intensive lobbying by his father.
With Lachlan gaining control of the Murdoch media empire, he inherits both Fox and News Corp.
Produced in association with Benzinga