LONDON — Rebekah Brooks has returned to News U.K. — formerly known as News International — as chief executive officer, the publisher said Wednesday.
Brooks replaces Mike Darcey, who is leaving after three years in the role.
The statement followed reports that swirled last week saying that Brooks was on course to be appointed as ceo at the firm. At the time, a spokeswoman for News U.K. described the reports as “rumors.”
Brooks’ role is effective as of Sept. 7. News U.K. is the London-based operating company of News Corp., and publishes newspapers including The Times, The Sunday Times, The Sun and The Sun on Sunday. Brooks will report to Robert Thomson, ceo of News Corp.
Thomson noted: “Rebekah will lead a great team at News U.K. into the digital future, while maximizing the influence and reach of our newspapers,” he said, praising Brooks’ “expertise, excellence and leadership.”
News U.K. noted that Brooks is returning to the same role she held four years ago, when she was ceo of News International from 2009 through 2011. But in this role, News U.K. said Brooks will have added responsibility for the acquisition and development of digital properties. She has already been working with the team at Storyful, News Corp.’s social news agency, which supplies firms including Facebook and Vice.
Brooks had resigned from News International in 2011, following the phone hacking scandal that led to the demise of the publisher’s News of the World tabloid, and she was arrested in the course of police investigations into the scandal.
However, News U.K. noted in Wednesday’s statement that Brooks was “unanimously cleared last year by a jury of all charges related to investigations of various newspaper groups.”
Brooks said of her appointment: “It is a privilege to be back amongst the most talented journalists and executives in the business,” she commented. “I am confident that we can meet the many challenges of this digital age with a combination of cutting edge technologies and world class journalism.”
In addition to Brooks’ appointment, News U.K. on Wednesday also named David Dinsmore, formerly editor of The Sun, as chief operating officer and Tony Gallagher as editor in chief of The Sun.
Prior to this appointment, Gallagher had been deputy editor of the Daily Mail since 2014, and before that had served as editor of The Daily Telegraph. Both Gallagher and Dinsmore’s appointments will be effective “in the coming weeks,” News U.K. said.