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James Murdoch Returns to Sky as Chairman

Sparks speculation 21st Century Fox might buy satellite company 1/29/2016 07:27:00 AM Eastern

James Murdoch was named chairman of Sky plc, four years after having to step down from Sky because of the phone hacking scandal at one of the Murdoch family’s London newspapers.

The appointment of Murdoch, now CEO of 21st Century Fox and the son of mogul Rupert Murdoch, prompted speculation that Fox might again be interested in acquiring control of Sky.

An acquisition of Sky was aborted during the phone hacking scandal, which led to the closure of the News of the World. 21st Century Fox owns a 39% stake in Sky.

Murdoch succeeds Nicholas Ferguson, who is stepping down after serving as chairman since 2012.

 "I would like to thank Nick for his outstanding contribution to the Board over the last decade and more,” said James Murdoch in a statement. “I am proud to have been asked by the Board to serve as Chairman of Sky, one of the world's leading pay TV companies. Jeremy and the team at Sky have done an outstanding job in building a dynamic and successful company. As Chairman, I look forward to working with the Board and management as they continue to deliver a great service for Sky's customers and create value for all shareholders over the years to come."

Murdoch has been a director of Sky since 2003 and was chief executive from 2003 to 2007 and chairman from 2007 to 2012.

Sky has 21 million customers in the U.K., Ireland, Germany, Austria and Italy.

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