July 15 (Reuters) - Rebekah Brooks resigned as chief executive of News Corp’s (NWSA.O) British newspaper unit on Friday, yielding to political and investor pressure over a phone hacking scandal undermining Rupert Murdoch’s media empire on both sides of the Atlantic.
Tom Mockridge, CEO of the company’s Italian pay-TV arm Sky Italia, will replace Brooks. Here are some details about him:
* Born in July 1955 in New Zealand, he was chief executive of Sky Italy since its creation in April 2003.
* He moved to Australia in 1980 where he worked for the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.
* Between 1984 and 1991, he was a member of Australian Finance Minister Paul Keating’s staff.
* In 1991, he joined News Corp in Sydney as assistant to Ken Cowley, chief executive of Australian subsidiary News Ltd.
* In 1997, he became chief executive of Foxtel, a pay-TV company that News Corp owned through a joint venture with Australian telecommunications company Telstra.
* In 2001, he was appointed managing director of Independent Newspapers Ltd, the largest publisher of newspapers and magazines from New Zealand headed by News Corp.
* He was also president of Sky New Zealand, the pay-TV group in the country.
* In 2002, Mockridge led the merger between Stream and Telepiu, which brought about Sky Italy.
* In 2010, a war between Sky Italia and Mediaset (MS.MI), Italy’s largest private broadcaster, erupted when Mockridge called for the removal of 2003 legislation preventing Sky from entering the terrestrial television market.
— The European Union ruled in July 2010 in Sky’s favour, a position upheld by Italy’s top administrative court last February.
* British pay-TV broadcaster BSkyB BSY.L appointed Mockridge as a non-executive director in 2009. Mockridge had been promoted to the additional role of chief executive of European television for News Corp in 2008. (Writing by David Cutler, London Editorial Reference Unit: Additional reporting by Valentina Za in Milan; Editing by Peter Cooney)