Media mogul Rupert Murdoch has stepped down as director of several subsidiary boards within his troubled News Corporation conglomerate, ahead of a planned company split.
A corporate statement said Murdoch stepped down as director of NI Group (formerly News International), Times Newspaper Holdings and News Corporation Investments. It linked the move to a recent announcement that the $53 billion media empire would separate its publishing and its media and entertainment businesses into two publicly traded companies.
Speculation has intensified in the last year that News Corporation could seek to sell its embattled British newspapers, in response to a phone hacking operation allegedly approved by senior editors at the now-defunct News of the World tabloid.
The scandal severely damaged Murdoch's reputation in Britain and prompted a parliamentary committee earlier this year to describe the tycoon, 81, as unfit to run a major company.