News Corp announced tonight that Tom Mockridge, who has served as CEO of News International since July 2011, will leave the company at the end of the year. Wall Street Journal Managing Editor Robert Thomson is in line to head the News Corp publishing unit when it is spun off from the company’s entertainment operations, so Mockridge’s decision is not surprising. Thompson’s appointment as CEO of the new division is expected to be announced this week along with promotion of his Journal deputy Gerard Baker to managing editor as his replacement. News Corp Chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch praised Mockridge as “a skilled executive and a trusted friend. His decision to step down is absolutely and entirely his own. I am sorry to see him leave us but I know he will be a great success wherever he goes.”