More change in News Corp.’s digital division, though this one is a more logical than others: Jeremy Philips, once the star digital M&A guy and promoted to his current position four years ago by Rupert Murdoch himself, is leaving the company for entrepreneurial ventures. Now that News Corp has pulled back on most of its digital expansion strategies and focusing on its core brands, not much M&A remains to be done, hence this move by Philips. He is moving back to his native Australia.
So who’s left working with Jon Miller on M&A? For now, it is mainly dispositions, not acquisitions. The go-to guys there are Jack Kennedy, EVP of ops, and Jorge Espinel, EVP of corp dev, under News Corp (NYSE: NWS). Digital Media Group, and are the ones looking after the potential sale of properties like Fox Audience Network and Fox Mobile, and possibly down the line, IGN and MySpace.
This comes after another M&A/corp dev exec, Mike Lang, left in February. Lang was part of a different group, under Fox, though was also involved with digital M&A deals.
Statement from Murdoch on his departure: “Jeremy is a very talented executive and I value his strategic contributions to our digital initiatives over the past six years. I fully understand his desire to focus on new entrepreneurial ventures and I wish him all the best in this next step in what will continue to be an exceptional career.”