Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Ball's BSkyB Exit Paves Way for Murdoch Junior

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Ball's BSkyB Exit Paves Way for Murdoch Junior

Article excerpt

Byline: PATRICK HOSKING

RUPERT Murdoch's campaign to lever his 30-year-old youngest son James into the chief executive's job at BSkyB gathered pace today as the incumbent Tony Ball quit.

Ball "decided not to renew his service contract with the company", the satellite broadcaster announced, and would go "well before his current contract ends on 31 May, 2004".

The company quelled speculation of a rift between Ball and his chairman, Murdoch Snr, announcing the former would remain available to give advice and would become a consultant to the parent company, News Corp.

It insisted that the departure was Ball's decision, but declined to say whether he would receive any payoff.

In a move designed to counter any accusations of favouritism and nepotism, the company announced a nomination committee of "independent" non-executive directors to search for a successor.

Murdoch Snr, who sat on the nomination committee when Ball was appointed in 1999, will not do so this time. …

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