Rebekah Brooks returns as Murdoch dealmaker

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Rebekah Brooks, former News International Ltd Chief Executive, and News of the World Editor. Resigned in 2011 amidst a phone hacking scandal. Photo: Supplied
Rebekah Brooks, former News International Ltd Chief Executive, and News of the World Editor. Resigned in 2011 amidst a phone hacking scandal. Photo: Supplied

News Corp has announced leadership changes at British newspaper publisher News UK, with the appointment of Rebekah Brooks as Chief Executive Officer.

The changes were announced on September 2, with former News of the World editor Brooks set to replace former CEO Mike Darcey after three years in the role.

Robert Thomson, Chief Executive of News Corp, said: “Rebekah will lead a great team at News UK into the digital future, while maximising the influence and reach of our newspapers, which remain the most informative and successful in Britain and beyond.” 

Ms. Brooks said she was delighted to return to News UK. “It is a privilege to be back among the most talented journalists and executives in the business,” she said.

Brooks is returning to the post that she held four years ago, and will have added responsibilities in moving the company’s publications into the digital age, including the acquisition and development of digital properties.

“I am confident that we can meet the many challenges of this digital age with a combination of cutting-edge technologies and world-class journalism,” Ms. Brooks said.

Brooks is joined by David Dinsmore as Chief Operating Officer, and Tony Gallagher as Editor In Chief of The Sun, Britain’s largest-selling daily newspaper.

Rebekah Brooks was Chief Executive of News International Ltd from 2009 until her resignation in 2011 amidst the News of the World phone-hacking scandal.

Between 2003 and 2009, she was editor of The Sun, and between 2000 and 2003 she served as editor of the News of the World newspaper.

A police enquiry revealed that the now-defunct News of the World had a routine practice of intercepting mobile phone messages of celebrities, politicians and other public figures, including the British Royal Family.

Further revelations emerged on the extent of the phone hacking, and how it was common knowledge within the News of the World and its parent company, News International.

Investigations over several years revealed that reporters at the paper used private investigators to gain illegal access to hundreds of mobile phone voicemail accounts held by a variety of people of interest to the newspaper.

In 2011, it was revealed that the phones of relatives of deceased British soldiers, victims of the 2005 London bombings and murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, had also been hacked.

The resulting public outcry led to several high-profile resignations. After her exit in 2011, Brooks was among those later charged in 2012 with conspiring to pervert the course of justice.

Brooks’ trial over the phone hacking claims began in 2013, but she was unanimously cleared last year by a jury of all charges relating to the investigation.

News UK is a London-based company of News Corp and is home to The Times, The Sunday Times, The Times Literary Supplement, The Sun and The Sun on Sunday.

News Corporation is a global media and information services company focused on distributing authoritative and engaging content to consumers throughout the world.

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