London: Rebekah Brooks, the embattled
chief executive of Rupert Murdoch`s British operations, quit
on Friday, after days of mounting pressure over the phone-hacking
scandal involving the group’s once best selling tabloid News
of the World.
Brooks was now the chief executive of News
International, which owned four newspaper titles in Britain:
The Sun, The Times, The Sunday Times and the closed News of
the World, and it was under her editorship that dubious
news-gathering practices took place.
Brooks, 43, became the target of public ire when it
was revealed that the people whose phones were hacked for
information included the murdered teenager Milly Dowler, and
families of July 7 London bombing victims and kin of soldiers
killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Until today, Murdoch, 80, backed Brooks and refused to
ask her to take responsibility for the illegal practices and
resign, despite demands by Prime Minister David Cameron and
The phone-hacking row has already led to at least two
major casualties so far: the closure of News of the World and
the withdrawal of the USD 15 billion takeover bid for BSkyB.
There are reports that Murdoch`s companies now face
probes in the US and Australia.
Brooks, a British citizen, will appear before the
Culture, Media and Sport (CMS) Committee of the House of
Commons on Tuesday.
In an earlier hearing, she had admitted to MPs that
her company had paid policemen for information.
Brooks said in a statement: "As Chief Executive of the
company, I feel a deep sense of responsibility for the people
we have hurt and I want to reiterate how sorry I am for what
we now know to have taken place".
"I have believed that the right and responsible action
has been to lead us through the heat of the crisis. However my
desire to remain on the bridge has made me a focal point of
the debate. This is now detracting attention from all our
honest endeavours to fix the problems of the past," she said.
"Therefore, I have given Rupert and James Murdoch my
resignation. While it has been a subject of discussion, this
time my resignation has been accepted".
Brooks worked for Murdoch for 22 years, but said
"recent times have been tough".
Tom Mockridge, the chief executive of Sky Italia TV
channel, will be the new CEO of News International, News Corp
"I now need to concentrate on correcting the
distortions and rebutting the allegations about my record as a
journalist, an editor and executive," Brooks said.
"My resignation makes it possible for me to have the
freedom and the time to give my full cooperation to all the
current and future inquiries, the police investigations and
the CMS appearance," she added.