Rebekah Brooks Resigns From News Corp. in Phone Hacking Scandal

Former News of the World editor says, “This time my resignation has been accepted”

Last Updated: July 15, 2011 @ 8:41 AM

Former News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks has resigned from News Corp. over the phone hacking scandal consuming the company.

"My desire to remain on the bridge has made me a focal point of the debate. This is now detracting attention from all our honest endeavors to fix the problems of the past," she wrote in a message to staff Friday, according to Reuters.

Also read: Major News Corp. Shareholder: Brooks 'Has to Go'

"Therefore I have given Rupert and James Murdoch my resignation. While it has been a subject of discussion, this time my resignation has been accepted."

She also said she felt "a deep sense of responsibility for the people we have hurt."

Brooks offered her resignation earlier in the scandal, but the Murdochs rejected it. Friday's news came a week after Prime Minister David Cameron said he would have accepted her resignation.

A spokesman for Cameron told the Guardian on Friday that Brooks should still appear before a House of Commons committee next week to answer questions about the phone hacking.

The resignation also came a day after News Corp.'s second biggest shareholder called for her to step down.

"For sure she has to go, you bet she has to go," Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal said in an appearance on BBC's Newsnight Thursday. Alwaleed's Kingdom Holding controls 7 percent of the company, making him the biggest shareholder after the Murdoch family.

Brooks was promoted to News International's chief executive after she left the tabloid. Her replacement is Tom Mockridge, CEO of Sky Italia and managing director of European Television.

News Corp. shuttered the News of the World last weekend because of the scandal. The move was seen as an attempt to preserve News Corp.'s bid for control of BSkyB, but News Corp. announced this week it would abandon that bid as well.

Cameron, a past ally of the Murdochs who hired former News of the World editor Andy Coulson as a top aide, eventually joined opponents of the BSkyB bid.

Murdoch took to the pages of his Wall Street Journal on Thursday to defend the company, claiming it has dealt with the crisis "extremely well in every way possible." Also on Thursday, the FBI announced an inquiry into whether News Corp. reporters hacked the cellphones of 9/11 victims.