Top Murdoch Honcho Quits as News Corp Split Looms Rebekah Brooks' replacement to 'pursue outside opportunities' By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff Posted Dec 3, 2012 2:03 AM CST 1 comment Comments Tom Mockridge was appointed to succeed Rebekah Brooks in July last year. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno, file) (Newser) – One of Rupert Murdoch's main media henchmen has stepped down after just 16 months at the helm of News International, the Telegraph reports. Tom Mockridge, who took over News Corp's scandal-hit British newspaper business from Rebekah Brooks last summer, is leaving to "pursue outside opportunities," the company says. Insiders say Mockridge decided to step down after not being chosen to head News Corp's publishing business, which will be instead be led by current Wall Street Journal editor Robert Thomson after News Corp splits into two parts later this year. Mockridge's "decision to step down is absolutely and entirely his own," Murdoch said in a statement. "I am sorry to see him leave us, but I know he will be a great success wherever he goes."