Five executives have been hired by News Corp. to beef up its compliance efforts in the wake of the phone hacking scandal. As it splits its entertainment business from its publishing business, News Corp will organise its compliance programme in five groups worldwide.
The five group chief compliance officers, shortened to GCCO, will each assume a full-time role ensuring that the News Corp businesses operate "with the highest level of integrity", said Zweifach.
Responsibility for Murdoch's News International papers in the UK - where the furore started - goes to Candy Lawson, GCCO in Europe and Asia, based in London. Candy will also manage compliance for News Corp throughout Europe and Asia, including Sky Italia, Fox Turkey, Star India. She joins News Corp. from Morgan Stanley where she was anti-corruption counsel for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Lisa Fleischman becomes the GCCO for the company's New York-based news and information businesses, including Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, Fox TV Stations Group, Wall Street Journal (Dow Jones), the New York Post, HarperCollins, News America Marketing and Amplify.
She will also be News Corporation’s Deputy Chief Compliance Officer, helping to administer the strengthened global programme. Lisa was a federal prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York and then worked at HBO, before joining News Corporation two years ago.
John McCoy, who was associate regional director of the US Security and Exchange Commission operation in Los Angeles, will look after the film and TV networks in LA ; Brian Michael, an ex-prosecutor for the U.S. attorney's office in New York, will oversee Fox Networks in LA. The GCCO for the Australia group is Keith Wood, an accountant in Sydney.
The five will report to Gerson Zweifach, hired earlier this year as general counsel who is now also chief compliance officer. His mission: to establish a team and procedures that can help avoid the problems that surfaced in the phone hacking scandal.
In a staff memo today, Zweifach said the success of the five "depends on your support for their work: strengthening our training programs, building on internal controls, auditing the effectiveness of our compliance program and remediating any problems quickly and effectively."
Murdoch told staff in August that News Corp had "made progress" on assurances he gave to the Leveson Inquiry into media ethics and standards "to redress wrong-doing, cooperate with law enforcement officials and strengthen our compliance and ethics program company-wide."
News Corp. has also pointed to comments from Scotland Yard deputy assistant commissioner Sue Akers, heading the British police probe into phone hacking. She conceded the company culture had changed.
"She agreed that the current senior management and corporate approach at News International has been to assist and come clean," said News Corp.
"This summer, we began building and rolling out an enhanced training platform for all our employees, worldwide."