The 84-year-old chief executive of 21st Century Fox Rupert Murdoch is ready to retire and pass on control of the company to his son James, according to a CNBC report.
An official announcement is predicted to take place soon, however it is unknown whether the change in management will take place this year or wait till the beginning of 2016.
CNBC said that Rupert Murdoch will remain Fox’s executive chairman, while his son Lachlan would become the company’s executive co-chairman.
Other changes will also take place as part of the reorganization of Fox’s management. Chase Carey will step down as COO to acquire a role as the company’s advisor. The ma-jority expect that Carey will leave the company at the end of 2015, by using his right to exit his contract early. However, some sources told CNBC that he may stay on in some way with the company through 2016, but Carey could not be reached for comment.
As the daily management of Fox is handled by 42-year-old James Murdoch, he will still work together with his father and 43-year-old brother Lachlan. CNBC reported that sources close to the Murdochs said the family has been open about their new plans, and are referring to the new roles of the Murdoch brothers as a “partnership.”
The only comment that representatives of Fox had regarding the matter, was to say that the issue of succession is on the agenda for the next meeting of the board of directors.
With the resignation of Carey as COO, for the first time Fox will have no one outside of the Murdoch family in a senior management position. Peter Chernin held that role for many years, before withdrawing in 2009 as COO of News Corp. He was succeeded by Carey, who shareholders praise for his management of the cable networks owned by the company.
Four years ago, James Murdoch, resigned control of BSkyB after the company was de-stroyed by the U.K. hacking scandal. Since then he has been growing in popularity among the Fox investors for his successful work as co-COO. CNBC reporter David Faber writes, “They tell me they believe James has matured as a leader, has a detailed knowledge of the company’s operations and is the driving force behind its expansion in digital distribution. As one source who knows both James and Lachlan well described it, ‘James will have the primary role in running Fox while Lachlan will take on a broader strategic role from his co-chairman position.’”
The daily doings of Rupert Murdoch as chairman of both Fox and News Corp. are not anticipated to change much, because through the Murdoch Family Trust he still controls 39.4 percent of Fox’s voting shares. The main purpose of the management changes at Fox is to officially recognize the next generation of Murdochs as ready to take control of the media giant.