UPDATE: In the day's second high-profile resignation at News Corp., Dow Jones CEO Les Hinton announced Friday that he will leave Rupert Murdoch's media conglomerate.
Hinton was the head of News International when the phone-hacking allegations first emerged. He had "come under increasing scrutiny recently as a cascade of allegations indicated the problems at the center of the scandal were more widespread than he had twice led a parliamentary committee to believe," reports the Wall Street Journal, which is published by Dow Jones.
"The pain caused to innocent people is unimaginable," Hinton wrote in his resignation letter, obtained by Reuters. "That I was ignorant of what apparently happened is irrelevant and in the circumstances I feel it is proper for me to resign from News Corp, and apologize to those hurt by the actions of the News of the World."
Original Post at 10:04 a.m.: Rebekah Brooks, the embattled former editor of the News of the World, resigned Friday as the chief executive of the British newspaper division of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.
In an internal memo released by the company, Brooks announced her resignation from News International, where she had worked for more than two decades, and apologized for the phone hacking scandal that ultimately forced the closure of the 168-year-old News of the World.
“At News International we pride ourselves on setting the news agenda for the right reasons,” Brooks said in the memo. “Today we are leading the news for the wrong ones. The reputation of the company we love so much, as well as the press freedoms we value so highly, are all at risk.”
News Corp. announced that Tom Mockridge, its head of European television, will replace Brooks as CEO of News International.
Brooks's full statement:
At News International we pride ourselves on setting the news agenda for the right reasons. Today we are leading the news for the wrong ones.
The reputation of the company we love so much, as well as the press freedoms we value so highly, are all at risk.
As Chief Executive of the company, I feel a deep sense of responsibility for the people we have hurt and I want to reiterate how sorry I am for what we now know to have taken place.
I have believed that the right and responsible action has been to lead us through the heat of the crisis. However my desire to remain on the bridge has made me a focal point of the debate.
This is now detracting attention from all our honest endeavours to fix the problems of the past.
Therefore I have given Rupert and James Murdoch my resignation. While it has been a subject of discussion, this time my resignation has been accepted.
Rupert's wisdom, kindness and incisive advice has guided me throughout my career and James is an inspirational leader who has shown me great loyalty and friendship.
I would like to thank them both for their support.
I have worked here for 22 years and I know it to be part of the finest media company in the world.
News International is full of talented, professional and honourable people. I am proud to have been part of the team and lucky to know so many brilliant journalists and media executives.
I leave with the happiest of memories and an abundance of friends.
As you can imagine recent times have been tough. I now need to concentrate on correcting the distortions and rebutting the allegations about my record as a journalist, an editor and executive.
My resignation makes it possible for me to have the freedom and the time to give my full cooperation to all the current and future inquiries, the police investigations and the CMS appearance.
I am so grateful for all the messages of support. I have nothing but overwhelming respect for you and our millions of readers.
I wish every one of you all the best.