In one of the bigger management transitions among major programmers in quite some time, 21st Century Fox has confirmed that its seminal CEO, Rupert Murdoch, 84, will step down July 1, turning control over the company to sons James and Lachlan.
Under the succession plan, James Murdoch, 42, will assume the CEO role, with Lachlan Murdoch, 43, elevated to executive co-chairman. The elder Murdoch's top lieutenant, longtime company COO Chase Carey, will shift over to executive vice-chairman.
Rupert Murdoch will become executive chairman.
It's a big transition for the company behind some of the biggest networks in the pay-TV business--a collection that includes not only the Fox broadcast network, but also the powerful Fox News Channel, entertainment programming network FX, and emerging national sports cable network Fox Sports 1.
"This will be the biggest generational shift of any media company," BTIG Research analyst Rich Greenfield told Variety.
"It has always been our priority to ensure stable, long term leadership for the company, and these appointments achieve that goal," Rupert Murdoch said in a news release. "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."
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