James Murdoch bows out as BSkyB head
James Murdoch resigned as chairman of British pay-TV company BSkyB Tuesday, saying that he wanted to protect it from being undermined by his links to News Corp.'s tabloid phone-hacking scandal.
Until last year, Murdoch was seen as the heir apparent to his father Rupert's media empire, but his resignation dealt a major blow to his ascension as a talented executive in his own right.
"I am aware that my role as Chairman could become a lightning rod for BSkyB, and I believe that my resignation will help to ensure that there is no false conflation with events at a separate organization," Murdoch said.
The 39-year-old is a previous chairman of News International, News Corp.'s British newspaper arm, which published the now-defunct News of the World at the heart of the scandal.
"As attention continues to be paid to past events at News International, I am determined that the interests of BSkyB should not be undermined by matters outside the scope of this company," Murdoch wrote in a letter to the BSkyB board.
The youngest son of Rupert had long held off demands for him to step down at BSkyB. His conduct now, however, is under scrutiny by a powerful parliamentary committee that is expected to deliver a critical report in the coming weeks.
U.K. TV regulator Ofcom has been investigating whether BSkyB is a suitable owner of a broadcast license given its close relationship with Murdoch, who will remain on the BSkyB board.