Former News Corp. executive Rebekah Brooks, who was cleared last year of charges related to the News of the World phone hacking scandal, will soon ascend to the top job in News Corp’s UK division, the Financial Times reported Friday.
According to the Financial Times, which cites “people familiar with the matter,” Brooks will return to News Corp’s executive suite sometime in September. Her appointment is said to coincide with several big moves at News Corp. UK, including the departure of current CEO Mike Darcey and the appointment of a new editor of The Sun, which Brooks helmed in the aughts before she left for the boardroom.
Speculation about Brooks’ future at News Corp. has been swirling in the months since a jury found her not guilty of charges stemming from the hacking scandal. In October, Politico reported that the former Sun editor was spotted at News Corp’s Manhattan headquarters, a sighting the media company acknowledged in a statement.
Thereafter, conflicting reports projected different futures for Brooks: In March, Financial Times reported that she was headed for the social news outlet Storyful, which she would run in the absence of founder Mark Little. The Guardian reported she would be scouting online investments for the company. The most substantial hint of her professional future came in June, when Politico reported a notion attributed to “some United Kingdom News Corp. suits,” that Brooks was returning to the UK division as CEO.
Brooks’ return to News Corp. would be a dramatic reversal of fortune for the erstwhile executive. She resigned from the company in July 2011 as the fallout from the phone hacking scandal spread. According to The New York Times, Brooks admitted in her resignation that her presence at News Corp. “had become a distraction.”
Per the Financial Times, Brooks received a $24.6 million severance package upon leaving News Corp.