Rebekah Brooks resigned as News International CEO today, the Wall Street Journal reported. The Journal, which is also owned by News Corp., called her resignation “the first major executive casualty” in the scandal. She is “leaving the company altogether” and will be replaced by Sky Italia CEO Tom Mockridge.
According to the Journal, she e-mailed News International staff this morning about her resignation and commented:
“I feel a deep sense of responsibility for the people we have hurt and I want to reiterate how sorry I am.”
She stated that she is resigning because the focus on her involvement has been “distracting attention from all our honest endeavors to fix the problems of the past.” Despite her resignation, Brooks will answer questions in Parliament next week about the scandal, though. She went on in her e-mail to state:
“As you can imagine recent times have been tough. I now need to concentrate on correcting the distortions and rebutting the allegations about my record as a journalist, an editor and executive. My resignation makes it possible for me to have the freedom and the time to give my full cooperation to all the current and future inquiries, the police investigations and the CMS [Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee] appearance.”
The Guardian noted that yesterday, prior to Brooks’ announcement, the “second largest shareholder in News Corporation” commented on the phone hacking scandal. Saudi prince Al-Waleed bin Talal Alsaud reportedly said that if “there was evidence of Brooks’s ‘explicit’ involvement in the alleged illegal activity, ‘for sure she has to go, you bet she has to go.'”
He added: “Ethics to me are very important. I will not deal with a lady or a man that has any sliver of doubt on his or her integrity.”
Prime Minister David Cameron agreed with Brooks’ resignation, according to the New York Times. News Corp.’s James Murdoch called Brooks “one of the outstanding editors of her generation” following her resignation.
Mark Lewis, the attorney for the family of Milly Dowler, the murdered teenager whose phone was reportedly hacked by News of the World, commented that Brooks’ resignation is “right” but that “this is not just about one individual but about the culture of an organization,” the Times reported.
News Corp. Apologizes
News Corp. has issued an apology, the Telegraph reported. The apology is signed by Rupert Murdoch and states “We are sorry” for a lack of accountability, “the serious wrongdoing that occurred” and “the hurt suffered by the individuals affected.”
The company also apologized for “not acting faster to sort things out” and acknowledges that “simply apologising is not enough.”
According to the Chicago Tribune, the apology will run in “all national [British] newspapers this weekend.”
The Guardian Apologizes to The Sun
According to the correction, “Articles in The Guardian of Tuesday 12 July incorrectly reported that The Sun newspaper had obtained information on the medical condition of Gordon Brown’s son from his medical records. In fact the information came from a different source and The Guardian apologises for its error.”
The Sun denied claims that it broke into Brown’s son’s medical records, and instead explained that “a member of the public whose family has also experience cystic fibrosis” told the newspaper about Brown’s son “voluntarily.”