News Corp. Hires NYC Schools Chancellor Joel Klein

NEW YORK - - News Corp. has named Joel Klein executive vp, office of the chairman -- a role in which he will serve as a senior adviser to chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch. He was most recently New York City schools chancellor until mayor Michael Bloomberg announced his departure Tuesday afternoon.

Reporting to the News Corp. boss, the former deputy White House counsel for Bill Clinton and former U.S. Chairman and CEO of German media firm Bertelsmann will also join the entertainment giant's board.

Klein will advise Murdoch on a wide range of initiatives, including "developing business strategies for the emerging educational marketplace," the company said. According to a source familiar with the situation, he could, for example, look at providing seed funding for e-learning companies or initiatives, among other things.

"We're very fortunate to have a leader of such exceptional depth join the senior executive team of News Corporation," said Murdoch. "His record of achievement leading one of the country's toughest school systems has given him a unique perspective that will be particularly important as we look into a sector that has long been in need of innovation."

Klein helped transform the New York City school system without having prior experience in the space. During his eight year tenure, he made teachers and principals more accountable for students' performance. For example, city schools are nowadays receiving grades from A to F based on parents satisfaction and their ability to improve test results.

"Joel Klein's extraordinary service to the 1.1 million children and young adults who attend our public schools has secured him a place as a landmark, transformational civic leader in our City’s long history," Bloomberg said Tuesday. "But for some time now, I've known that he was ready to move on."

While working for the U.S. government, Klein headed the U.S. Justice Department's antitrust division for nearly four years. Among his work there, he was the lead prosecutor in the anti-trust case to break up software giant Microsoft.