Murdoch's son James named successor as CEO at 21st Century Fox

Media mogul Rupert Murdoch's younger son James will succeed him as chief executive of media giant 21st Century Fox, starting next month, the company has confirmed.

The 42-year-old, who had come under pressure in recent years over the phone-hacking scandal involving the Murdoch-owned News of the World, would take over on 1 July.

The 84-year-old company founder, Rupert Murdoch and older son Lachlan, 43, would become executive co-chairmen of Fox which owns the Fox TV networks and film studio 20th Century Fox, and a 39-per cent stake in Sky.

The handover reports had first emerged last week and have now been confirmed by the company in a statement.

According to Fox, corporate functions and TV and film operations would now report directly to the Murdoch brothers.

Rupert Murdoch said, "It has always been our priority to ensure stable, long-term leadership for the company, and these appointments achieve that goal.

"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."

The brothers said in a joint statement, "We are both humbled by the opportunity to lead, with our father and the talented team of executives at 21st Century Fox, this extraordinary company."

The brothers had long been seen as battling to take over the reins of the company from their father, with Lachlan emerging as frontrunner after James became embroiled in phone-hacking scandal as chief executive of Murdoch's UK newspaper group before he left to join Fox in New York in 2011.

James is currently co-chief operating officer of 21st Century Fox, which has Fox News, film studio 20th Century Fox, and a joint venture TV production group under its fold. It also owner of 40 per cent  the UK's Sky television.

The 21st Century Fox entertainment business split from Murdoch's publishing empire News Corp – with The Sun, The Times and the The Sunday Times in the UK and The Wall Street Journal in the US – two years ago. Former editor of The Times, Robert Thomson became chief executive of News Corp, while Rupert took over as executive chairman.

Chase Carey who had been a longstanding lieutenant of Rupert Murdoch, and has been deputy chairman, president and chief operating officer since 2009, will become executive vice-chairman until the end of June 2016.