Rupert Murdoch, aged 92, announced on Thursday that he would be stepping down as Chairman of Fox and News Corps in favor of his son, Lachlan.
The media mogul reassured everyone that he was in good health but felt it was time to shift roles. He will now take on the position of Chairman Emeritus in both companies, providing advice to his son. Lachlan Murdoch will assume the role of sole Chair of News Corp and will continue as Executive Chair and Chief Executive Officer of Fox Corporation.
"In my entire professional life, I have been engaged daily with news and ideas, and that will not change. But the time is right for me to take on different roles, knowing that we have truly talented teams and a passionate, principled leader in Lachlan who will become the sole Chairman of both companies," Rupert Murdoch wrote in a letter to his colleagues. "Neither excessive pride nor false humility are admirable qualities, but I am truly proud of what we have achieved collectively through the decades, and I owe much to my colleagues, whose contributions to our success have sometimes been unseen outside the company but are deeply appreciated by me."
"Whether it's the truck drivers distributing our papers, the cleaners who toil after we've left the office, the assistants who support us, or the skilled operators behind the cameras or the computer code, we would be less successful and have less positive impact on society without your day-to-day dedication. 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."
Lachlan Murdoch welcomed the news with a statement published on Fox News, saying: “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,” read the press release. “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 career began when he was 23, in 1954, when he spearheaded News Limited, an Australian corporation previously led by his father Keith Murdoch. He then acquired Australian newspapers before moving on to the United Kingdom, where he took hold of News of the World and the tabloid The Sun in 1969. In the 1980s, he established News Corporation to manage the newspapers, news agencies, and magazines he owned. He later acquired Twentieth Century Fox and in 1986 founded FOX Broadcasting, paving the way for the media colossus we know today.
His media empire, which will remain a family business under the leadership of Lachlan Murdoch, is currently valued at $17.4 billion.
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