In a significant announcement on Thursday morning, Rupert Murdoch, the media mogul who built a global media empire from a humble local newspaper concern in Australia over 70 years ago, has revealed his retirement plans. The 92-year-old media magnate, known for his unwavering dedication to his business ventures, is stepping down from the boards of Fox Corporation and News Corporation. This transition will leave his son, Lachlan Murdoch, as the sole executive overseeing the vast media empire.
Under this new arrangement, Rupert Murdoch will assume the role of chairman emeritus for both companies, as outlined in the official statement released by the company.
Rupert Murdoch’s Journey from Local Newspaper to Media Giant:
Rupert Murdoch’s retirement comes as a surprise to many, as he had previously shown no inclination to slow down or relinquish control. In 2019, he designated Lachlan as his heir to the family’s media empire, particularly after selling a substantial portion of his entertainment holdings to the Walt Disney Company.
Despite his emeritus status, Rupert Murdoch will continue to provide counsel, as confirmed by Lachlan Murdoch in a statement expressing gratitude for his father’s contributions to the companies and the wider world.
We thank him for his vision, his pioneering spirit, his steadfast determination, and the enduring legacy he leaves to the companies he founded and the countless people he has impacted,” said Lachlan Murdoch, who at 52 has been given control of the family’s media giant.
This retirement essentially formalizes the leadership transition that had been set in motion following the Disney sale. Lachlan Murdoch had already assumed the roles of executive chairman and chief executive, with the only change being the removal of the “co-” prefix he once shared with his father. Rupert Murdoch held similar titles until his retirement.
Lachlan Murdoch, though bearing a different image compared to his father, has symbolized continuity within the family-owned companies. While the portfolio includes prominent assets such as The Wall Street Journal, Fox Broadcasting, and Tubi, it has been most recognized for the influential conservative voices at Fox News and the British tabloid The Sun.
The retirement announcement does not appear to be prompted by any specific event but rather acknowledges the reality that even the healthiest 92-year-olds enter their twilight years. Those close to Rupert Murdoch have long known that he prefers to retire while still perceived as sharp and active, rather than waiting until he becomes a diminished figure.
Additionally, this retirement move solidifies Lachlan Murdoch’s position as the chosen successor to lead the company in the future. After Rupert Murdoch’s eventual passing, a family battle for control of the empire is anticipated. Per the terms of the family trust that governs the family’s stake in the media conglomerate, each of Rupert Murdoch’s four eldest children—Lachlan Murdoch,
Elisabeth Murdoch, James Murdoch, and Prudence Murdoch—will possess an equal vote in determining the company’s future. Until that time, Rupert Murdoch retains the controlling vote.