James Murdoch, son of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, has resigned from his position as chairman of BSkyB, bowing to what many believe is mounting pressure from investigations involving phone hacking at the now defunct News of the World newspaper.
Outlining his reasons in a letter to the board, Mr Murdoch said: "I have been privileged to serve first as chief executive and then as chairman of this outstanding company and I am proud of what we have achieved over this period.
"As attention continues to be paid to past events at News International, I am determined that the interests of BSkyB should not be undermined by matters outside the scope of this company."
He then went on to describe how the last thing he wanted was to become a "lightning rod" for the firm and that he hoped leaving would allow BSkyB to continue without any negative effects from the NotW scandal.
Deputy chairman Nicholas Ferguson will take over the role. Whether that will be a permanent or temporary appointment is unknown at this point. He said that the board supported Mr Murdoch's decision and that they looked forward to his continued input as a non-executive director.
Addressing the news, Rupert Murdoch commented, saying that his son had "played a major role in propelling the company into the market-leading position it enjoys today - and in the process has been instrumental in creating substantial value for News Corporation shareholders."