James Murdoch stands down from News International

Move made in bid to protect successful pay-TV group from phone hacking scandal
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James Murdoch resigned as chairman of BSkyB on Tuesday to prevent his links to a phone-hacking scandal that has convulsed his father Rupert's media empire undermining the pay TV group, whose broadcast licence is under scrutiny in Britain. (AFP/Getty Images)
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"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 organisation," Murdoch said. (Getty Images)
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The 39-year-old is a previous chairman of News International, News Corp's British newspaper arm that was the publisher of the News of the World tabloid at the heart of the scandal before it was shut down last year.(AFP/Getty Images)
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"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.(Getty Images)
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His conduct is under scrutiny by a powerful parliamentary committee that is expected to deliver a critical report soon, as well as by the UK TV regulator and a judge-led inquiry into press ethics. (Bloomberg)
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The regulator, Ofcom, has been investigating whether BSkyB is a "fit and proper" owner of a broadcast licence given its close relationship with Murdoch and its 39 percent owner News Corp. (Bloomberg)
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Murdoch arrived at News International after the phone-hacking had died down but has been criticised for failing to uncover the scale of the wrongdoing. (Bloomberg)
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He will remain on the board and will be replaced as chairman by Nicholas Ferguson, who was previously deputy chairman and senior non-executive director.
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Investors and analysts welcomed the move, although they said they had no complaints about Murdoch's conduct at BSkyB, where he proved himself as a talented executive in his own right in his previous role as CEO.
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"I have no particular axe to grind about James Murdoch, but... at least it would remove some uncertainty from the stock. Investors could get back to focusing on the company's business rather than its corporate governance issues," said a UK-based top 30 BSkyB investor who asked not to be named.(Getty Images)