Lawrence "Lon" Jacobs, the general counsel of media giant News Corp. and a confidant of Chairman and Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch, is leaving the company after 15 years.
Jacobs, 56, played a key role in several major media deals over the years, including News Corp.'s acquisitions of the Wall Street Journal and the social-networking site MySpace. Besides his duties as general counsel, he was also one of seven executives who served in Murdoch's Office of the Chairman, which acts as an advisory board of sorts for the company's leadership.
"I will always be grateful to Lon not only for his wise counsel, but for his key role in helping build News Corp. into one of the world's largest and most successful diversified media companies," Murdoch said in statement.
The departure of Jacobs comes at a difficult time for the media company as it tries to clean up a large legal mess in Britain over an investigation into phone hacking of celebrities and politicians by News Corp.-owned newspapers.