Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse for Rupert Murdoch, a top executive in the mogul’s corporate portfolio is on the way out.
Rebekah Brooks has formally abdicated from her lofty perch as chief executive officer of News Corp.’s British publishing division.
“At News International we pride ourselves on setting the news agenda for the right reasons,” Brooks said in an email to her colleagues. “Today we are leading the news for the wrong ones.”
Rupert Murdoch’s UK newspapers are accused of paying large sums of money – “hush money” it’s being called – in an attempt to conceal the fact that cell phones were illegally hacked in pursuit of private information to improve the delivery of “inside scoops” in their stories.
In the days following the scandal’s emergence, Rupert Murdoch took center stage by issuing a formal apology in a series of full-page ads across the British publishing empire.
“We are sorry for the serious wrongdoing that occurred,” Murdoch said. “We are deeply sorry for the hurt suffered by the individuals affected. We regret not acting faster to sort things out. I realize that simply apologizing is not enough.”
“Our business was founded on the idea that a free and open press should be a positive force in society. We need to live up to this,” he adds. “In the coming days, as we take further concrete steps to resolve these issues and make amends for the damage they have caused, you will hear more from us.”
Following Mrs. Brooks’ resignation, most now expect the negative spotlight to remain fixed on Murdoch and those within his family who are alleged to have cultivated an environment where “this sort of thing could happen.”