Dow Jones CEO Les Hinton resigns, saying his ignorance of misconduct is 'irrelevant'

All Things D
After 52 years of working for Rupert Murdoch, Dow Jones CEO Les Hinton has resigned, the latest casualty of the phone-hacking scandal at News of the World and allegations of wrongdoing at parent company News International, which Hinton oversaw. Hinton was in charge of an internal inquiry that concluded that phone hacking was isolated to a rogue reporter at News of the World, and he testified to that effect before British Parliament.

In his resignation letter, Hinton said:

I have seen hundreds of news reports of both actual and alleged misconduct during the time I was executive chairman of News International and responsible for the company. The pain caused to innocent people is unimaginable. That I was ignorant of what apparently happened is irrelevant and in the circumstances I feel it is proper for me to resign from News Corp, and apologize to those hurt by the actions of the News of the World.

Twice, in 2007 and 2009, Hinton told members of Parliament that he was confident that the company had dealt with the phone hacking. Reuters reported that he said in 2009:

"There was never any evidence delivered to me that suggested that the conduct of [the single reporter] Clive Goodman spread beyond him ... We went, I promise you, to extraordinary lengths within the News of the World."

The question of whether the scandal would bring down Hinton was second only to that of how long it would take before Rebekah Brooks to resign. News of Hinton's resignation broke about 12 hours after Brooks'.

In Murdoch's note to staff about Hinton's resignation, he said, in part:

News Corporation is not Rupert Murdoch. It is the collective creativity and effort of many thousands of people around the world, and few individuals have given more to this Company than Les Hinton.

Alan Murray, deputy managing editor of the Journal, tweeted in response to the news, "Les Hinton was a great leader, and did much to support the advancement of WSJ in print and on digital platforms. He will be much missed."

Julie Moos contributed to this report.

  • Steve Myers

    Steve Myers was the managing editor of until August 2012, when he became the deputy managing editor and senior staff writer for The Lens, a nonprofit investigative news site in New Orleans.


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