News Corp president & COO Peter Chernin to step down in June

MUMBAI: News Corporation president and chief operating officer and Fox Group CEO Peter Chernin will step down when his contract expires on 30 June, 2009. The Los Angeles-based Fox businesses will report directly to News Corp chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch upon Chernin’s departure.

“Peter’s contributions to the company over the past two decades have been immeasurable. He has led important businesses and nurtured talented managers. We are fortunate to have such a strong and seasoned group of leaders at our Fox companies and we are confident that our success will continue. To that end, Peter and I will work closely over the next four months to ensure an effective transition,” said Murdoch.

“Peter is a valued colleague and a trusted friend. There are few executives, at any company, that combine his maturity, his experience, and his skills as a communicator and leader – I will miss him. It is understandable that at this stage in his life he would want to do something new after serving News Corporation and our shareholders so well for so long,” he added.

Chernin said, “This was a difficult decision for me. Next week marks my 20th anniversary with News Corporation and the company has been a huge part of my life. During my years here I have had the great privilege to work for one of the true visionary leaders of our time, Rupert Murdoch. As a leader, Rupert is unparalleled. He is bold, entrepreneurial, innovative, creative and incredibly supportive. As a partner and friend he has been inspiring, fascinating, and most of all, tremendous fun. The other great privilege of these years has been to work with all of my colleagues around the world at News Corp. I owe more to them than I can possibly express. Collectively, they represent the best in this industry. They have built great businesses, created new models and redefined existing franchises. Above all, they are individuals of unmatched character and collegiality. I will miss Rupert and my colleagues deeply. But I have no doubt they will continue to thrive without me.”

Chernin will launch a Fox-based production company later this year, among other ventures. In addition, he will continue his efforts as chairman of Malaria No More.

Chernin, 57, joined News Corporation in 1989 and has served as president and COO since October, 1996. During his two decades with the company, Chernin headed both Twentieth Century Fox Filmed Entertainment and, earlier, the Fox Broadcasting Company.

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