Embattled News Corp scion James Murdoch is stepping down from the board of drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline, the company announced today. GSK said Murdoch would not stand for re-election in order to focus on his role at BSkyB and in light of his decision to move to the U.S. Amid the eruption of the News Of The World phone-hacking scandal in the UK this summer, there was speculation that Murdoch might leave the pharmaceutical giant’s ranks. At the time, a spokesman told Reuters: “With regard to the activities that are alleged to have taken place at News International, we believe that the full facts must be established and the ongoing investigations be allowed to take place and come to a considered conclusion.” Today, GSK chairman Sir Christopher Gent said: “James Murdoch has decided to stand down from the Board with effect from this year’s AGM. James has taken this decision to focus on his current duties as Non-executive Chairman of BSkyB, and following his decision to re-locate to the United States, as Chairman and Chief Executive, International, of News Corporation. On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank James for the very strong contribution he has made since he was appointed in 2009 and wish him well for the future.”

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