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Succession planning: News Corp promotes deputy general counsel David Pitofsky to top job

David Pitofsky has been named general counsel (GC) and chief compliance officer (CCO) for Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, replacing Gerson Zweifach with immediate effect.

Pitofsky will oversee global legal operations for News Corp, the publisher of The Wall Street Journal, The Times and UK tabloid The Sun. His remit will include litigation, M&A, ethics and corporate governance matters though one potential matter was resolved earlier this month with the US Department of Justice saying it would not prosecute News Corp over the phone hacking scandal at UK tabloid News of the World. However, as CCO, he will chair News Corp’s compliance steering committee, which was created in 2012, following a settlement with shareholders in the wake of the scandal.

Zweifach was retained as GC of News Corp on a transitional basis following its separation from 21st Century Fox in June 2013 and remains both GC and CCO for the movie maker.

Pitofsky, who was a partner at Goodwin Procter before joining News Corp as deputy GC and CCO in early 2013, will lead a legal team that includes deputy general counsels Michael Bunder, Eugenie Gavenchak, Mark Jackson and James Marcovitz.

‘I am grateful to Gerson for his steadfast leadership during the separation of our two companies and this time of transition for the new News Corp,’ said Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman at News Corp. ‘Gerson has been a consistent source of wise counsel and strategic thinking, and he will be missed, though I am glad he will continue to lead the legal team at 21st Century Fox.’

He added: ‘Over the past two years I have worked with David, he has proven himself to be a first-rate lawyer whose insights and advice have been invaluable. We feel very fortunate to have him as our new General Counsel, where I am sure he will provide great leadership and support to our businesses around the world.’

Zweifach said: ‘I can’t think of a better person to take on this task than David, whose judgment and legal acumen I trust without reservation.’