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James Murdoch on Wednesday resigned from his post as executive chairman of News International, the British branch of of his father's News Corp. media empire.
The company announced Murdoch's departure in a statement, saying that his decision to step down followed his relocation to company headquarters in New York. While Murdoch has been under pressure for months to resign following last year's phone-hacking scandal that led to end of the News of the World, his father, Rupert Murdoch, stressed that his son will still play an active role in News Corp., and touted his "lasting contribution" and "demonstrated leadership" at the company.
"James will continue to assume a variety of essential corporate leadership mandates, with particular focus on important pay-TV businesses and broader international operations," the elder Murdoch said.
As the New York Times points out, however, many media analysts say Murdoch's decision was fueled by the scandal, and ensuing legal trouble, at News International papers after its journalists reportedly hacked into the voice mail accounts of a 13-year-old murder victim and relatives of soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan.