First Lachlan Murdoch announces that he is quitting Rupe’s empire. Then
rumours surface that Nick Ritblat, son of John Ritblat of British Land, is
considering a similar move.
Lachlan’s departure was a particular surprise. He did work experience at The
Times in the 1990s and was clearly being groomed for greater things. No-one
wanted much to do with him, suspecting a hotline back to daddy, but he seemed
Lachlan announced his departure in an emotional email to Murdoch employees,
reflecting on his ‘formative years looking up to the men and woman (sic) of News
Corporation’. Who is this woman? Patience Wheatcroft.
With sister Elisabeth off the scene, the dynastic responsibility falls to
young James, although it is hard to envisage News Corp holding together once
Rupert is out of the picture. The accountants would make a strong case for
ditching trophy assets such as The Times, which has never really made money.
One can only guess at the pressures of working for a domineering father.
Kevin and Ian Maxwell suffered unspeakable horrors working under the ghastly
Robert, although you won’t find much sympathy for them from Mirror Group
Robert Hanson no doubt enjoyed strident conversations with his late father
Lord Hanson. As for Nick Ritblat, at 43, he has probably had enough. Stephen
Hester, ex-Abbey, was brought in last year as chief executive of British Land.
Ritblat junior, like Lachlan, is said to be considering his options.
They could find that ‘life after Dad’ is not so bad after all.
Jon Ashworth is a freelance journalist and writer
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