In 2011, Rebekah Brooks resigned as CEO of the United Kingdom division of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, amid the fallout from the company’s phone-hacking scandal. Today, London’s Financial Times reports that Brooks will return to that position.
After her resignation, things went more or less OK for Brooks, who had occupied several top positions at News Corp throughout her career. She received nearly $25 million in severance, and in June of last year a jury found her not guilty of illegally accessing the voicemail of a dead teenager. This past March, The Guardian reported that Murdoch was set to hire her to run a division of the company that sought out “new online investments.”
Though the Financial Times doesn’t mention that particular hiring ever happening, the paper says Brooks nonetheless remained a presence at News Corp, having talked about taking several positions at the company before reportedly giving in to Murdoch and coming back as CEO:
She has discussed a variety of jobs with the company over the past 12 months and at one point was close to taking a role that would have given her responsibility for Storyful, News Corp’s social media news agency, and other digital assets.
However, Mr Murdoch, News Corp’s chairman, was keen for her to return as News UK chief executive. She initially resisted his overtures but people familiar with the matter said he eventually won her over.
The timing of Brooks’ potential return is interesting considering that The Guardian reported today that England’s Crown Prosecution Service may bring “corporate charges” against the company that she would once again be running, based on a file it received from police on July 23 of this year. The Guardian estimates that News Corp has already spent $500 million between defense and settlements stemming from the first round of hacking accusations.
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