News Corp.’s Fischer Ankles

News Corp. lost a senior executive March 15 when Gus Fischer, its London-based chief operating officer and CEO of its U.K. subsidiary, quit.

Fischer had a low public profile in the U.S. but he was known on Wall Street. News of his resignation, which was released only in London, surprised analysts.

He was a “very senior management guy for all of News Corp.,” said one analyst.

Merrill Lynch analyst Jessica Reif said Fischer had once been “a very important person there,” often visiting New York, but he had not been seen for more than a year.

Hired to run News Intl. in 1990, Fischer was given the new job of chief operating officer of News Corp. in January 1991, shortly after the liquidity crisis that almost sent News Corp. under.

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