James Murdoch stepped down Tuesday as chairman of British Sky Broadcasting, surrendering one of the biggest jobs in the Murdoch media empire in a bid to distance the broadcaster from a deepening phone hacking scandal, the Associated Press reported.
Murdoch, who had succeeded his father Rupert Murdoch as chairman in 2007, will remain on the BSkyB board. Nicholas Ferguson, the deputy chairman, will succeed him, the Financial Times reported.
"I am aware that my role as chairman could become a lightning rod for BSkyB and I believe that my resignation will help to ensure that there is no false conflation with events at a separate organization," the 39-year-old Murdoch said.
Ferguson, who retired as chairman of SVG Capital in March, will become the first person outside the Murdoch family to chair the company since its formation in 1988. Tom Mockridge, who replaced James Murdoch at News International, gained a new title of deputy chairman of BSkyB.