The shifting power structure at News Corp (NYSE: NWS) shifts again: Rupert Murdoch has appointed Jan Koeppen, currently MD and partner at Boston Consulting Group, to the new role of chief operating officer for Europe and Asia. Based in London, he will report directly to James Murdoch, who was appointed chairman and CEO for Europe and Asia 15 months ago.
Could this move hold the key for further advancement for James through the News Corp ranks? COO Peter Chernin is on the way out, leaving a power vacuum still to be filled, at least in the US. And how many other trusted, promotable lieutenants does Rupert trust enough? Speculation that James was being lined up for the global COO role was rife before this move — and with Sun editor Rebekah Wade tipped to be given a wider management role at News International, one could be forgiven for wondering whether Koeppen’s appointment finally spells an enlarged role of some sort for James. More after the jump…
BCG carried out an extensive review of News Corp.’s UK newspaper division News International last year, which resulted in at least 65 redundancies — and a reversal of plans to leave the newspaper company’s Wapping home and buy new premises. Koeppen will have a senior role in News Corp.’s TV, newspapers and digital assets, specifically their “finance, corporate development and operational improvement.”
As the head of BCG’s media practise, Koeppen has no end of experience in making businesses profitable, including a cost review at ITV (result: about 1,500 redundancies) — and the Murdochs clearly liked his work on News International enough to hand him one of the biggest roles in the company. He also will have seen the inside workings of some of the world’s biggest media firms, including News’s rivals.