Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

News Corp. Digital Exec Jeremy Philips Heads for the Exit

More change at News Corp.’s top ranks: Jeremy Philips, one of Rupert Murdoch’s top advisers, is heading out the door.

I’m told that Philips has a new job lined up and that he informed Murdoch of his plans in early January. But when I reached him this afternoon, he declined to comment. PaidContent first reported the move.

Philips is a behind-the-scenes guy (though very easy to find at New York media events) who weighed in on much of Murdoch’s digital mergers-and-acquisitions work, as well as big-picture strategy like pay walls, etc. I’d been told repeatedly that he had the ability to launch his own projects within News Corp., though if he did so, I was not aware of it. A recurring rumor mill item had him working on a fabled “LinkedIn-killer” for the company.

News Corp. folks want us to know that Philips was not forced out. But there’s definitely a changing of the guard at the company, occasioned by the ascension of Rupert’s son, James Murdoch.

News Corp. (NWS) owns Dow Jones, which owns this Web site.

Statement attributed to Murdoch:

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.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik