Murdoch won't leave News Corp.

@CNNMoney July 19, 2011: 1:08 PM ET
News Corp. denies that Murdoch will be replaced as CEO

James Murdoch, left, and his father, Rupert, the leadership of News Corp., testified before the British Parliament on Tuesday.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch told members of the British Parliament on Tuesday that he will not step down from his place at the helm.

"No," said Murdoch, when asked during testimony if he would relinquish control of his company in the wake of a phone hacking scandal. "I'm the best person to clean this up."

Murdoch blamed the wrongdoing on others. "They let down the company, me, and it's for them to pay," he said.

Earlier on Tuesday, News Corp. denied reports that Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey is set to replace Rupert Murdoch as CEO of the media conglomerate troubled by a phone hacking scandal.

"As you would expect, the Board [of Directors] has had a plan in place for some time and it regularly re-evaluates those plans," a senior News Corp. official told CNN. "Suggestions that a plan is currently being accelerated or implemented are inaccurate."

The leadership of News Corp. (NWSA, Fortune 500) is in question after the ruling Murdoch family came under scrutiny in the scandal involving the company's now-defunct British tabloid, News of the World.

Rupert Murdoch and his son James, who control about 40% of the voting shares of News Corp., testified Tuesday before members of Britain's Parliament regarding their role in the scandal.

Also during the testimony, the Murdochs denied reports that people affiliated with News Corp. had hacked into phone voice mails of victims and family members of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States.

"We have no evidence of that at all," said Rupert.

"That sort of activity would have absolutely no place," said James, the company's deputy chief operating officer. "It would just be appalling."

After more than two hours of testimony, the hearing was halted by a disturbance in the room, as someone tried to hit Rupert Murdoch with what appeared to be shaving cream, according to CNN. A police officer responded, as Rupert's wife Wendi Deng took a swing at the imposter.

The performance of the Murdochs before Parliament could be instrumental to the future with the company, which has already experienced a stock price plunge of 15% so far this month, after the hacking activity was unveiled. The stock rebounded about 5% in Tuesday trading.

It is unclear whether Rupert Murdoch, who told Parliament during testimony that this is "the most humble day of my life," would be forced out. He said he was not responsible for the problems that have plagued his company in the past few weeks.

James S. O'Rourke, professor of management at the University of Notre Dame, said he does not believe the leadership position of the Murdochs is in jeopardy.

"It's unlikely that there's a mechanism, short of felony conviction, that would force them from office," he said. "I think they're reviled ... but I don't see there's anything on the horizon that would jeopardize their control."

What's next for Murdoch?

News of the World is accused of hacking into the voice mails of thousands of people, including a missing teenager who was later found murdered and a family member of a victim of the terrorist attacks in London on July 7, 2005. There are also allegations of bribing police officers from Scotland Yard.

In addition, the FBI is investigating News Corp. over the hacking allegations related to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

News Corp gets an 'F'

The scandal has resulted in the arrest of ten people, including Rebekah Brooks, a former News of the World editor who resigned last week as head of the company's News Corp. International unit. It has also led to the resignation of Les Hinton as CEO of News Corp.'s Dow Jones unit, which publishes The Wall Street Journal.

James Murdoch told British lawmakers in his testimony that he has "no knowledge" that Brooks and Hinton knew of the extent of phone hacking at the News of the World tabloid, and has "no evidence" they did anything wrong. He apologized to hacking victims.

In addition to Dow Jones, the News Corp. empire includes Fox News and the New York Post in the United States, and Britain's The Sun and The Times.

Poof! News Corp. loses $8 billion market cap

The scandal led News Corp. to withdraw its $12.5 billion bid to purchase all of British Sky Broadcasting last week.

In testimony before Parliament, Rupert Murdoch reiterated that News of the World represented "less than 1%" of the company.

"We had broken our trust with our readers," said Rupert to lawmakers, explaining why he had shut down the 168-year-old paper.

CNN's Katy Byron contributed to this report. To top of page

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