It's Official: James Murdoch to Become 21st Century Fox CEO

James Murdoch - H 2014
AP Images

James Murdoch - H 2014

The conglomerate's board approved the succession plan, effective July 1, which will see Rupert Murdoch focus on his chairman role and Lachlan Murdoch become executive co-chairman.

21st Century Fox made its succession official, announcing that Rupert Murdoch would leave his CEO title to son James Murdoch, who is currently co-COO. The change will happen July 1, 2015.

Also, as reported last week, Lachlan Murdoch, James' older brother, will become executive co-chairman, with their 84-year-old father focusing on his chairman role. Lachlan is currently nonexecutive co-chairman.

COO and president Chase Carey will become executive vice chairman once James takes over as CEO.

"The company’s corporate functions and its global television and film operations will now jointly report to Lachlan and James Murdoch," the company said.

“It has always been our priority to ensure stable, long-term leadership for the company, and these appointments achieve that goal. Lachlan and James are each talented and accomplished executives and together, we, as shareholders and partners, will strive to take our company to new levels of growth and opportunity at a time of dynamic change in our industry," Rupert Murdoch said in a statement. 

“I can’t thank Chase Carey enough for his friendship, counsel and leadership over the past decades. He will be actively engaged in supporting Lachlan and James as they step in to their new roles," Murdoch continued.

"We are both humbled by the opportunity to lead, with our father and the talented team of executives at 21st Century Fox, this extraordinary company," read the joint statement from Lachlan and James Murdoch. "We are grateful to Chase for being the leader and partner that he has been, and we are both delighted that his wisdom and sure-handedness will continue to serve 21st Century Fox. We are also grateful to the board for providing us the opportunity to lead this great company."

"I am grateful to Rupert for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime and truly believe there isn’t a company out there that’s more exciting, with more growth potential, than 21st Century Fox," read Carey's statement. "I look forward to continuing to work with Rupert to support Lachlan and James in their new positions."

The executive shuffle was approved by Fox's board at a regularly scheduled board meeting. A Fox spokesman last week only said: "The matter of succession is on the agenda at our upcoming, regularly scheduled board meeting."

James will remain based in New York, with Lachlan set to move from Australia to Los Angeles.

Carey's current contract runs through June 30, 2016. He had an option, starting on July 1, to give six months' notice and move into an advisory role, which played into the succession planning.