Tom Mockridge's valedictory email to colleagues yesterday made clear his disappointment in a master he had served so well.
Mr Mockridge, one of Rupert Murdoch's most loyal executives, was passed over in favour of another devoted lieutenant, Robert Thomson. Given a choice of two antipodeans, Mr Murdoch selected his fellow Australian as head of the publishing division of his newly split empire.
That left Kiwi Mr Mockridge with little incentive to stay. He did Murdoch a favour in interrupting a successful career as a News Corp broadcasting executive to step into the furnace of News International after the departure of chief executive Rebekah Brooks. He brought NI some stability.
Mr Thomson's promotion is not a surprise. The former Times editor had been managing editor of the Wall Street Journal. The question is whether he will take London executives across the Atlantic, such as ex-Daily Telegraph editor Will Lewis, who would not have been a popular choice as Mr Mockridge's successor, given his role in handing evidence of staff wrongdoing to Scotland Yard.