Now one executive short, Rupert Murdoch is scrambling to hire on some help to deal with the fallout from the phone hacking scandal that's dominated British headlines for the past two weeks. Follwoing some critical statements from News Corp.'s biggest stakeholder, Rebekah Brooks resigned from her post as chief executive of the company's British newspaper division, but Murdoch's company is still a long way from redemption. On Tuesday, Murdoch and his son James, News Corp.'s deputy chief operating officer, will face a Parliamentary committee to answer questions about the company's newspapers phone hacking practices and bribing police. Across the pond, the F.B.I. has launched an investigation into Murdoch's American activities, and U.S. attorney general Eric Holder is considering requests from lawmakers to open another.
Meanwhile, top brass at News Corp. are doing everything they can to build a good defense. So far it seems like Murdoch is burning money on a hilltop, as a beacon to light the way for his newly recruited rescue squad.
Defense lawyer Brendan V. Sullivan will be working with News Corp.'s legal team the deal with the escalating trouble in the United States. A prominent white-collar attorney and a partner at Williams & Connolly in Washington, Sullivan is best known for defending Oliver North during the Iran-Contra scandal and former head of the New York Stock Exchange, Richard A. Grasso, in a suit over his compensation. News of Sullivan's hire comes just one day after that of News Corp.'s chief lawyer Lawrence Jacobs resigning.
Public relations juggernaut Edelman is on board to help deal with the press and angry public. The PR and lobbying specialists will report to News Corp. General Manager Will Lewis and have already provided the company with "ad hoc" guidance since June 21. Their managing director for corporate affairs will lead the team along with James Lundle, managing director of public affairs. Edelman is the largest PR firm in the world.
News Corp. board member Joel Klein is leading an internal investigation into the phone hacking practices at News International papers. After running New York City's ailing public school system for eight years, Klein joined the board last November and will oversee a managing and standards committee created to handle the scandal. Normally, Rebekah Brooks would have been expected to lead such a committee, but to the dismay of many, Murdoch last week appointed Klein instead.
Replacement CEO Tom Mockridge is now in charge of the News International publishing unit. Formerly chief executive of Murdoch-owned Sky Italia, the New Zealand native has been in charge of News Corp.'s television operations for all of Europe outside the U.K. Mockridge is known for growing the company's TV platform and recently made headlines in the U.S. over a row with Al Gore for not renewing Current TV's contract in Italy.