Brooks to return as Murdoch's UK boss

Rebekah Brooks Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Rebekah Brooks pictured after her acquittal of phone-hacking charges in 2014.

Rebekah Brooks will return as chief executive of Rupert Murdoch's UK newspaper operations on Monday.

She resigned in 2011 in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal and was given a £16m payoff by News Corp.

Mrs Brooks was cleared by a jury of phone-hacking charges last year.

The appointment is part of a wider shake-up of News Corp's troubled UK newspaper division, that also involves Daily Mail deputy editor Tony Gallagher becoming editor of the Sun.

Mr Gallagher replaces David Dinsmore, who becomes chief operating officer.

The 51-year-old is a former editor of the Daily Telegraph, where he was pivotal in paying an anonymous whistleblower to uncover the MPs' expenses scandal.

He left the Telegraph in January last year, and worked briefly in the kitchen at the trendy Spanish restaurant Moro in north London's Exmouth Market before taking on his role at the Mail.

Image copyright Getty Images

Mrs Brooks will replace Mike Darcey, who became chief executive in 2012.

Mr Murdoch was understood to be keen to restore Mrs Brooks to a senior role within the company following her acquittal.

But media commentator Steve Hewlett pointed out that there was a PR downside to her appointment.

"She was in charge of the company and had a very senior role in it when all these things happened," he said, referring to phone hacking and corrupt payments to public officials, on which she was also cleared.

"It takes somebody who was a key figure when it was all going wrong and puts them front and centre when they now need it all to go right."

Mrs Brooks said she was delighted to return to News UK: "It is a privilege to be back amongst the most talented journalists and executives in the business. I am especially pleased to be working for Robert [Thomson, News Corp chief executive] and thrilled to have Tony and David on board my team."

Mr Thomson said: "Her expertise, excellence and leadership will be crucial as we work to extend our relationship with readers and advertisers, and develop our digital platforms to take full advantage of our brilliant journalism."

News Corp said her role would include added responsibilities for the acquisition and development of digital properties. She has been working with Storyful, a video news agency owned by News Corp, which supplies outlets including Facebook and Vice.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Rupert Murdoch with Rebekah Wade in 2011

Profile: Rebekah Brooks

Rebekah Brooks, formerly Wade, started out in journalism as a teenager.

She joined the now defunct News of the World aged 20, working her way up to become editor in 2000 - at the time the youngest editor of a national newspaper. In 2003 she moved to the Sun, becoming the first woman to edit the title.

Described by friends as charming, clever and persuasive, she forged close ties with politicians from all parties, including David Cameron.

After six years at the Sun, she was appointed chief executive of parent company News International (now called News UK) in 2009.

In 2011, Rupert Murdoch closed the News of the World amid the phone-hacking scandal and Mrs Brooks resigned a week later.

In May 2012, she was charged over phone hacking but denied any wrongdoing and was acquitted in June 2014.

Tony Gallagher has been deputy editor of the Daily Mail since 2014, after five years editing the Daily Telegraph. Before joining the broadsheet in 2006 he had been head of news at the Daily Mail and helped to launch MailOnline.

David Dinsmore became editor of the Sun in June 2013, after beginning his career as a reporter on the Scottish Sun in 1990, which he went on to edit in 2006.

As well as the Sun and its Sunday stablemate, News UK also owns the Times, the Sunday Times and the Times Literary Supplement.

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