News Corp. (NWSA) revealed on Thursday the retirement of longtime Chief Financial Officer David DeVoe following the media conglomerate’s breakup into two separate companies later this month.
The personnel news comes as Rupert Murdoch’s media empire braces for the transformative change that is aimed at freeing its profitable TV and movie studio assets from the lower-growth newspaper businesses.
New York-based News Corp. tapped John Nallen, currently deputy CFO, to become the new financial chief of 21st Century Fox, the media entertainment company being spun off on June 28. The appointment is effective July 1.
News Corp., which is the parent of FOX Business, said DeVoe, who become CFO in 1990, will continue to hold a board seat and remain a senior advisor.
“I would like to express my profound gratitude to Dave for his enormous contributions to News Corp. over nearly three decades in which he has played a pivotal role in building the company into a global leader,” Murdoch said in a statement. “He is a world-class executive whose stellar financial stewardship can be credited for the enviable financial position we’re in at this exciting time in the company’s evolution.”
DeVoe joined News Corp. in 1983 as a senior financial exec.
“To work with Rupert as he built News Corporation into one of the most dynamic companies of all time was the opportunity of a lifetime,” Devoe said.
Nallen has served as News Corp.’s deputy chief financial officer and an executive vice president since 2011, focusing on capital markets and M&A transactions. He first joined the media giant in 1995 after a stint at former accounting firm Arthur Andersen.
“I am honored to be part of 21st Century Fox’s leadership team as we embark on an exciting next chapter to drive long-term value for our shareholders,” Nallen said.
Bowing to pressure from shareholders, News Corp. plans to separate into two publicly traded companies on June 28. 21st Century Fox will house Murdoch’s entertainment and media properties, including Fox News Channel, Fox broadcasting and the 20th Century Fox studio. The remaining company will retain the News Corp. name and contain the less-profitable publishing assets, which are highlighted by The Wall Street Journal, New York Post, Times of London and book publisher HarperCollins.
Separately on Thursday, News Corp. confirmed that Murdoch, 82, has filed for divorce from his wife Wendi Deng Murdoch, after 14 years of marriage.
Shares of News Corp. retreated 1.24% to $31.28 in after-hours trading on Thursday following the CFO news.