Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of Rupert Murdoch’s News International, has stepped down in Britain amid a phone hacking scandal.
Her departure comes as the FBI says it is investigating allegations that British journalists hacked into the phones of victims of the September 11 attacks in 2001.
In a resignation letter published across the British media, Brooks said that as the comany’s CEO, she felt “a deep sense of responsibility” for those who were hurt:
I want to reiterate how sorry I am for what we now know to have taken place.
I have believed that the right and responsible action has been to lead us through the heat of the crisis. However my desire to remain on the bridge has made me a focal point of the debate.
This is now detracting attention from all our honest endeavours to fix the problems of the past.
Brooks was editor of the now defunct News of the World tabloid, at the time of some of the most serious hacking allegations, and had been under intense pressure to quit. The paper printed its final edition last Sunday.
She had reportedly offered her resignation last week, but it was declined by Mudoch, and his son, James.
Along with Rupert and James Murdoch, Brooks has agreed to face questioning by British lawmakers at a parliamentary committee hearing next Tuesday.
She will be replaced as News International chief executive by Sky Italia’s Tom Mockridge.