James Murdoch, the under-fire chairman of BSkyB and number three at his father's News Corporation, is quitting the board of British drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline.
GSK's chairman Sir Chris Gent said: "James Murdoch has decided to step down from the board at this year's annual meeting. James has taken this decision to focus on his current duties as non-executive chairman of BSkyB and following his decision to relocate to the United States as chairman and chief executive international of News Corporation."
Murdoch only joined the board of GSK in May 2009 and was paid an annual fee of £98,000 as a non-executive director. He has come under increasing pressure to stand down from the chairmanship of BSkyB because his reputation is seen as tainted by the News of the World phone hacking scandal.
BSkyB will report first-half figures next week, and investors will examine them closely to see if there has been any knock-on effect from the newspapers to the satellite television broadcaster.
Murdoch recently stood down from the boards of all the UK newspaper companies owned by News International — Times Newspapers and News Group Newspapers, owner of The Sun. Three long-serving Glaxo non-executive directors will also step down next year. Sir Crispin Davis, Sir Robert Wilson and Larry Culp have each served on the board for nine years.Reuse content