Fischer Named Chief Operating Officer
SYDNEY, Australia (AP) _ News Corp Ltd. said Thursday it has appointed Augustus Fischer to the new position of chief operating officer, assisting chief executive Rupert Murdoch.
It said Fischer, managing director of News International Plc., will retain his responsibilities with that division.
He will join the News Corp. board, along with Andrew Knight, the chairman of News International, and Arthur Siskind. The appointments are effective Friday.
The company has been under pressure from investors and banks to reduce debts of more than 10 billion Australian dollars, or $7.8 billion. It plans to sell about 1 billion Australian dollars, $780 million, of non-core assets.
The Economist magazine recently said Murdoch should delegate his wide responsibities and was considering the appointment of a chief operating officer who would take a hands-on role with the company.
News Corp. said in a statement that Siskind will be appointed to the new position of executive vice president for worldwide legal affairs. He was formerly with the company’s main outside U.S. law firm, Squadron, Ellenoff, Plesent and Lehrer. He will report to Murdoch.
The company said Lawrence Kessler, who served as general counsel, will continue with the company and be responsible for coordinating legal activities among the three primary countries in which News Corp. operates.
Peter Stehrenberger has been appointed to assist Fischer in his European duties. Stehrenberger currently serves as finance director, News International.