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Rupert Murdoch to step down as 21st Century Fox CEO; sons James and Lachlan to take over

MUMBAI: In what could be termed the biggest generational shift within any media company, Rupert Murdoch, undoubtedly world’s most influential media executive, will step down as CEO of the entertainment empire 21st Century Fox, the parent company of Star India.

Rupert-MurdochAt 84, Murdoch is expected to remain executive chairperson of the company, while his sons, James and Lachlan, will take over the reins, according to multiple media reports.

James, 42, will take over as CEO, and Lachlan, 43, will act as co-executive chair.

Amid the top-level reshuffle, 21st Century Fox president and COO Chase Carey will also step down, but will remain with the company in an advisory role to Rupert Murdoch. Carey had his contract renewed in June last year for another two years. While his new contract lasts through 30 June 2016, he is free to leave as early as the end of December 2015, provided he gives six months’ notice.

Rupert Murdoch had hinted at the succession plan in March last year when the company appointed Lachlan as the non-executive co-chairperson and James was elevated to the position of co-chief operating officer.

The succession matter will be on the agenda at the next board meeting of the company.

21st Century Fox was formed in 2013 from the split of News Corp into two companies. The company housing the entertainment businesses changed its name to 21st Century Fox, while the publishing assets, including The Wall Street Journal, retained the News Corp name.

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