Rebekah Brooks, the central figure in the phone-hacking scandal that engulfed Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, is returning to the company as the chief executive of its U.K. division.
Her return to the job she unceremoniously left four years ago is rumored to be in September, sources close to the matter told the Financial Times.
Her apparent imminent homecoming comes after Brooks became the face of an investigation into News International newspapers’ practice of intercepting mobile phone messages of celebrities, politicians and other public figures. The list included members of the Royal Family, footballer Wayne Rooney and London Mayor Boris Johnson.
Brooks’ return has been considered a likely possibility after she was cleared of phone-hacking charges last year, and was wooed by Murdoch to be one of his trusted executives once again. “There are a lot of people who won’t see eye to eye with Rebekah Brooks, and I’m probably one of them, but she’s entitled to rebuild her life,” Tom Watson, a politician who led the charge against News International, told the FT.
Murdoch’s newspapers have struggled to stay at the top in Britain recently. Revenues have fallen 25% since 2011, and News Corp’s UK operations have lost $117 million before tax last year, in part because of legal costs linked to the phone-hacking trial, according to the FT.