James Murdoch has stepped down as the executive chairman of News International, the UK newspaper business that owns the Sun and the Times titles.
The 39-year-old has been at the centre of the controversy over how much he knew in the unfolding phone hacking scandal which has enveloped News International titles. The scandal led to the closure of the News of the World.
Last weekend Rupert Murdoch launched The Sun on Sunday but James was not by his side. The move comes just a few days after a top police officer told the ongoing Leveson Inquiry into press standards that she believed the practise of journalists paying the police for information was widespread at the Sun.
James Murdoch will remain as deputy chief operating officer of parent group News Corporation.
Following the announcement News Corp’s chairman Rupert Murdoch, James’s father, praised his son’s leadership.
Shares in News Corp rose on the resignation news.