The Wall Street Journal broke news this afternoon that its own publisher and current CEO of the Dow Jones, Les Hinton, has announced that he will relinquish his position immediately. Hinton is the second major figure linked to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWSA) to resign today, following former News of The World editor Rebekah Brooks’ resignation earlier this morning. Hinton has served as the Dow’s leading man since 2007, when he told an examining committee that he believed News Corps’ activities in phone-hacking scandal were limited to one rogue reporter. Since that time it has been well-establish that hacking operations by the British tabloid were a wide-ranging operation, with UK police currently investigating an alleged 4,000 hack victims.
Hinton’s full resignation letter can be found here. Some excerpts from the statement, which was addressed to employees.
“It is a deeply, deeply sad day for me. I want you all to know the pride and pleasure I have taken working at Dow Jones for the past three-and-a-half years. I have never been with better, more dedicated people, or had more fun in a job. News Corp under Rupert’s brilliant leadership has proved a fitting parent of Dow Jones, allowing us to invest and expand as other media companies slashed costs. This support enabled us together to strengthen the company during a brutal economic downturn, developing fine new products – not to mention one of the world’s great newspapers led by one of the world’s great editors, my dear friend and colleague Robert Thomson. However difficult this moment is for me, I depart with the certain knowledge that we have built the momentum to take Dow Jones on to ever greater things.
Good luck to you all and thank you.
Also attached was his official statement of resignation, sent to Rupert Murdoch.
I have watched with sorrow from New York as the News of the World story has unfolded. 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. When I left News International in December 2007, I believed that the rotten element at the News of the World had been eliminated; that important lessons had been learned; and that journalistic integrity was restored. My testimonies before the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee were given honestly. When I appeared before the Committee in March 2007, I expressed the belief that Clive Goodman had acted alone, but made clear our investigation was continuing. In September 2009, I told the Committee there had never been any evidence delivered to me that suggested the conduct had spread beyond one journalist. If others had evidence that wrongdoing went further, I was not told about it. Finally, I want to express my gratitude to you for a wonderful working life. My admiration and respect for you are unbounded. You have built a magnificent business since I first joined 52 years ago and it has been an honor making my contribution.”