Murdoch to step down from 21st Century Fox

DetailsMichelle Clancy | 11 June 2015

Rupert Murdoch is reportedly stepping down as CEO of 21st Century Fox, to be replaced by his son, James.

CNBC first reported the news, citing "numerous sources close to the Murdoch family." James Murdoch will share power with his brother Lachlan, the site said, as they will be co-executive chairmen of the company.

murdochJames Murdoch , who stepped down as the chief at BSkyB after a well-publicised UK hacking scandal, has been co-COO at Fox. Now, it appears that there will be a
vacancy at the top, because fellow COO Chase Carey will also step down as part of the management reorganization (though remaining as an advisor through 2016).

The move is not unexpected—Murdoch is 84 years old after all. And in reality, he's not really going anywhere: he will remain on the board as Fox's controlling shareholder with an almost 40% stake. And, while the day-to-day oversight duties will pass on, some suspect the change is more cosmetic than anything else.

"This would be a change in control in name only," said Dan Kline at the Motley Fool. "The two Murdoch brothers would apparently share the workload with their
father, but it's hard to believe Rupert Murdoch is actually stepping aside. It's more likely that dad will retain final say while his children ease into their roles to prepare for the day when their father is no longer capable of involvement."

A Fox spokesperson told the Motley Fool that "the matter of succession is on the board of director's agenda at its next regularly scheduled meeting"—but didn't confirm the step-down directly.

CNBC said that the transition will likely occur over the course of the next year.

The Australian Murdoch has built a $75-billion, multinational empire over the last 35 years, which includes television channels, satellite interests, and news properties around the globe. The enterprise was split into two companies in 2013: 21st Century Fox, which includes the television and media divisions, including FOX TV, cable nets, BSkyB and the Fox movie studio, and News Corp., which includes newspapers and publishing units, including the Wall Street Journal, NY Post and the Dow Jones newswire