Childhood & Early Life
Lachlan Keith Murdoch was born on September 8, 1971, in London, England, to Rupert Murdoch and Anna Murdoch Mann. Back then, Rupert, who was an Australian citizen, was working in New York City and had made a name for himself as the owner of the ‘New York Post’ and many other global media outlets. Anna was an author and a journalist. Lachlan was their eldest son.
Lachlan moved to New York City with his father when he was still a toddler. He began his education at the ‘Aspen Country Day School’ in Colorado. He later moved back to New York City to join ‘Trinity School.’ He completed his high-school graduation from the ‘Phillips Academy’ in Massachusetts.
Lachlan’s father owned quite a few media houses in Australia, too. Lachlan preferred living in Australia (than in New York or London). While growing up, he often went to Australia and got many tattoos inked on his body, which are considered symbols of tribal Australian culture.
His career was already decided, as his father hoped that Lachlan would someday take over his vast empire. However, Lachlan had other plans regarding his career. He chose philosophy as his bachelor’s program at ‘Princeton University.’ It was a career choice that was in direct contrast to what his father wanted him to do.
In 1989, Lachlan moved to Australia for 3 months for his training at the ‘Daily Mirror.’ His father had pushed him to complete the training, as he wanted his son to gather some experience in the media industry. Following the training, Lachlan moved back to the United States. After he finished his graduation, he moved to Australia and began his career in the media industry.
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At the age of 22, Lachlan was hired by ‘Queensland Newspapers,’ a major Australian news organization, to serve as their general manager. Brisbane’s ‘Courier Mail’ was published by the company.
At the age of 23, he began publishing ‘The Australian,’ which also happened to be Australia’s first national newspaper. In the next few years, he moved up the corporate ladder quickly and assumed major positions at many reputed organizations.
In 1995, he was appointed as the chairman of ‘STAR.,’ and he continues to serve in the position to this day. The same year, he was appointed as the deputy CEO of ‘News Limited.’ He was made the executive director of the company ‘News Corporation’ in 1996. In 2000, he was appointed as the deputy chief operating officer of ‘News Corporation.’
While living and working in Australia, he befriended an Australian businessman named James Packer. When James encouraged him, Lachlan made an investment decision that was heavily criticized later. Lachlan invested millions of dollars of ‘News Corporation’ in ‘One.Tel,’ a telecommunication start-up. Investing in a company such as this was a big risk. Thus, the decision led to discontentment among the leading ‘News Corporation’ executives.
In 2014, ‘One.Tel’ failed miserably, and ‘News Corporation’ had to pay a settlement amount of A$13.3 million, which was a massive setback for the company.
However, Lachlan did not stop there and began investing millions of dollars in other ventures, some of which turned out to be extremely successful. He invested $10.75 million in the company called ‘REA Group.’ Over time, the company registered big profits, and by 2014, it had a net worth amounting to more than $3.6 billion.
He, however, shocked everyone in 2005, when he resigned from ‘News Corporation.’ This decision affected the company badly.
His father was also highly disappointed with the decision, as he had hoped that his son would someday lead his global media empire, which also included the film studio ‘20th Century Fox.’ They also ran several broadcast channels and published many newspapers and magazines in the U.S.A, Britain, and Australia.
Soon after leaving ‘News Corporation,’ Lachlan started his own investment firm, ‘Illyria Pty Ltd.’ Through the company, Lachlan bought stakes in many national and international ventures, including a share in the ‘Indian Premier League’ (IPL) team ‘Rajasthan Royals’ and the online DVD rental company ‘Quickflix.’
In 2009, his investment company bought 50 per cent of the total stakes in the company named ‘Nova Entertainment.’ Lachlan also served as the company’s chairman.
In 2011, he became the CEO of the company ‘Ten Network Holdings’ after the contract of the company’s former CEO, Grant Blackley, was terminated. However, just a month later, James Packer, who had, along with Lachlan, invested 18 per cent in the company, exhibited his unpredictable nature when he decided to step down from his position as a board member of the company.
However, it turned out to be a bad deal for Lachlan, because the company registered huge losses. As the share prices plunged, Lachlan lost much of the money that he had invested in the company.
In March 2014, after making many losses in his own ventures, Lachlan returned to his family ventures. He was appointed as the non-executive co-chairman of ‘News Corporation’ and ‘21stt Century Fox Inc.’ Following this, Lachlan resigned from all the positions he held in ‘Ten Network Holdings.’
In June 2015, Lachlan became the executive chairman of ‘21st Century Fox.’ When ‘Disney’ acquired ‘Fox’ in 2019, Lachlan was named the chairman and CEO of ‘Fox Corporation.’