Now this is shock and awe: Lachlan Murdoch, the 33-year-old Chief Operating Hottie for his father Rupert's world domination machine, News Corp., has announced that he is resigning from the company as of August 31. There's a Luke Skywalker/Darth Vader metaphor somewhere in here, but we're too flustered to work it out.
The only clear reason for Lachlan's daddy-issues is his desire to spend more time in Australia with his wife and infant son, despite being paid $1.8 million plus bonus of $2.34 million last year. Hell, for that kind of money, even we'd suck it up and deal with the Post. We also suspect Lachlan's decision involved a lot of tantrums, door-slamming, and shouts of, "Stay out of my life, Dad!"
But seriously: Why can't Rupert Murdoch's blood money buy the loyalty of his son? And what about Lachlan's massive and still uninhabited property at 11 Spring Street?
After the jump, the full News Corp. memo.
Lachlan Murdoch Resigns; Maintains Seat on Board
NEW YORK, NY, July 29, 2005 News Corporation chairman and chief executive officer Mr. Rupert Murdoch today announced that the Company s deputy chief operating officer, Mr. Lachlan Murdoch, has decided to resign from his executive roles with the Company, effective August 31, 2005.
He will remain a director of News Corporation and will advise the Company in a number of areas. Lachlan Murdoch said: I have today resigned my executive position at News Corporation. I will remain on the board and I am excited about my continued involvement with the Company in a different role. I look forward to returning home to Australia with my wife, Sarah, and son, Kalan, in the very near future. I would like especially to thank my father for all he has taught me in business and in life. It is now time for me to apply those lessons to the next phase of my career.
Rupert Murdoch said: I am particularly saddened by my son s decision and thank him for his terrific contribution to the company, and also his agreement to stay on the board and advise us in a number of areas. I have respected the professionalism and integrity that he has exhibited throughout his career at News Corporation. His achievements include driving all of his reporting divisions to record profits and the New York Post to its highest-ever circulation. I am grateful that I will continue to have the benefit of Lachlan s counsel and wisdom in his continued role on the Company s board.
Mr. Murdoch joined the Company in 1994 and has served in various capacities, most recently as deputy chief operating officer of News Corporation and Publisher of the New York Post.
News Corporation (NYSE: NWS, NWS.A; ASX: NWS, NWSLV) had total assets as of March 31, 2005 of approximately US$56 billion and total annual revenues of approximately US$23 billion. News Corporation is a diversified international media and entertainment company with operations in eight industry segments: filmed entertainment; television; cable network programming; direct broadcast satellite television; magazines and inserts; newspapers; book publishing; and other. The activities of News Corporation are conducted principally in the United States, Continental Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia, Asia and the Pacific Basin.
Lachlan Murdoch is the deputy chief operating officer of News Corporation and a member of its Office of the Chairman, which has budgetary responsibility for the entire corporation. Mr. Murdoch directly manages subsidiary business units that generate more than two-thirds of the global media company s revenue. He oversees publishing company HarperCollins and News America Marketing, News Corp s freestanding inserts business, and is chairman of News Limited, parent company of News Corp s Australian operations. In addition, he is chairman of News Corp s United States television station group, which is among the largest in the nation, and is publisher of the New York Post. At the New York Post, Mr. Murdoch has aggressively pursued the paper s focus on boosting circulation, overhauling the tabloid and solidifying its position as America s fastest growing newspaper. During his tenure, daily circulation has increased by over 40 percent and the paper has become the seventh largest in the United States.
As executive in charge of the television station group, Mr. Murdoch developed and has successfully executed the company s duopoly strategy for serving viewers in the nine markets where the company owns and operates two stations. He has also concentrated on increasing local news, upping the number of hours devoted to such programming to more than 850 a week since taking charge of the 35 stations in 2002.
Mr. Murdoch began his career at News Limited in Sydney, Australia, cleaning presses at the Mirror newspaper. After graduating from Princeton University, he took on a series of progressively more responsible management positions in the company s Australian operations. He was general manager of Queensland Newspapers, served as publisher of The Australian, and also held the position of deputy chief executive of News Limited. He has been a member of the board of News Corporation since 1996 and a member of its Office of the Chairman since 1999.
Mr. Murdoch, 33, sits on the board of directors of the Robin Hood Foundation and the Executive Committee of the board of the Partnership for New York. Last month, he won The International Advertising Festival Cannes Lions Media Person of the Year Award
for his work at News Corp. He holds dual U.S. and Australian citizenship and lives in New York City and Sydney with his wife Sarah and son Kalan.