James Murdoch’s Press Adviser Resigns Over Phone Hacking Strategy

One of James Murdoch’s closest advisers has resigned from News Corporation (NSDQ: NWS), it emerged on Tuesday, amid disagreements over the way the media group dealt with the phone-hacking scandal.

Alice Macandrew, Murdoch’s spokesperson, handed in her notice in July at the height of the hacking crisis – but news of her departure has only just become public after News Corp tried and failed to make her change her mind.

She becomes one of the first senior executives to quit News Corp voluntarily over disagreements with the company’s approach, which saw the publisher contest phone-hacking lawsuits brought by celebrities and other public figures in 2010 and early 2011 and close the News of the World in July.

Macandrew was personally appointed by Murdoch as his chief press spokesperson in 2009, and was a key adviser on the company’s media strategy from the moment the first stories about phone hacking were written by the Guardian. She reported to Matthew Anderson, group director for strategy and corporate affairs.

In July, it emerged that News of the World had hacked into the phone of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, prompting a three-week crisis at the company. News Corp initially responded by closing the News of the World, but in the week after the company was forced to abandon its £8bn bid for full control of BSkyB (NYSE: BSY) and the News International chief executive, Rebekah Brooks, was forced to resign.

It is understood that Macandrew will leave the company at the end of the year, having served out her notice period. Both News Corporation and Macandrew declined to comment.

This article originally appeared in MediaGuardian.