“New” Fox has named its senior leadership team. It’s no huge surprise that Lachlan Murdoch will serve as chairman and CEO. Dad Rupert Murdoch has been named co-chairman, and current 21st Century Fox CFO John Nallen is sticking around to become the chief operating officer.
The shift in leadership comes after last December’s announcement that the Walt Disney Company plans to acquire many 21st Century Fox assets in a $52.4 billion deal, which is currently pending approval — though rival media giant Comcast has threatened to derail the merger.
“We have worked through the winter ‘standing up’ a reimagined independent Fox. The strengths of the new company, a leader in news, sports and entertainment, present truly unique opportunities,” said Lachlan Murdoch. “I am also personally very pleased that John has agreed to take on the role of Chief Operating Officer, and together we look forward to making further announcements as to the management and structure of this new Fox as we get closer to closing our proposed transaction with Disney.”
There was no mention of Lachlan’s brother James Murdoch in the Wednesday morning memo. That’s because months ago James decided that he wanted to move on from the company to pursue something on his own after the Disney transaction closes, a person with knowledge of the plans told TheWrap.
If things go as planned, the still Murdoch-run “new” Fox will be holding onto Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox Sports, Fox Television Stations Group, and sports cable networks FS1, FS2, Fox Deportes and Big Ten Network.
“The new Fox will begin as the only media company solely focused on the domestic market; focused on what Americans love best – sports, news and entertainment, built and delivered for a US audience,” Rupert Murdoch said.
The Fox Television Group is headed by chairman and co-CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman, who run both the Fox broadcast network and its television studio together. While that latter portion of 21st Century Fox would end up as part of the Walt Disney Company should the deal be approved; the former asset is, as we said before, part of that list of “new” Fox properties.
Lachlan Murdoch has served as Executive Chairman of 21st Century Fox since 2015. In this role, he works directly with the company’s senior management and board of directors in developing global strategies and setting the overall corporate vision.
“The opportunity to reshape a business strategy and an operational approach uniquely tailored to the new Fox is truly compelling,” Nallen added. “I look forward to joining Lachlan as we begin to establish new Fox.”
Nallen has been at his current post since as Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for 21st Century Fox since 2013 and oversees all of the company’s financial aspects, including capital market and merger and acquisition transactions.