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Fox Corp.'s Chief Legal Officer, Viet Dinh, Announces Departure
On April 18, 2023, pedestrians strolled past the News Corporation headquarters in New York City, home to Fox News. In the wake of a significant legal settlement, Fox Corp.'s Chief Legal and Policy Officer, Viet Dinh, announced his decision to step down from his role.
Departure Following Dominion Settlement
Dinh's decision to leave comes several months after Fox Corp. agreed to a substantial $787.5 million settlement with Dominion Voting Systems. Dinh had provided legal advice to Fox Corp. throughout the lawsuit proceedings with Dominion, which ended just short of a trial due to the settlement agreement in April. The repercussions of this lawsuit have continued to reverberate throughout the company.
Dominion had filed a defamation lawsuit against Fox, alleging that the network had "intentionally and falsely" attributed the loss of former President Donald Trump in the 2020 election to President Joe Biden, to unsubstantiated claims that Dominion's voting machines had manipulated the election results.
Aftermath of the Settlement
While Fox agreed to the settlement, the network's hosts were not obligated to discuss the lawsuit or issue any public apologies for their on-air statements. Shortly after the settlement was reached, Fox dismissed primetime host Tucker Carlson, who has since launched his own show on X, the platform previously known as Twitter. Jesse Watters has since taken over the primetime slot previously held by Carlson.
In the course of the lawsuit, both Carlson and Dinh were among the Fox anchors and executives who were interrogated. The evidence presented before the settlement included depositions, emails, texts, and other correspondence.
Dinh's Tenure at Fox and Future Role
Dinh assumed his role as the top legal officer at Fox in 2018. During his tenure, he has been responsible for all legal, compliance, and regulatory matters, as well as overseeing government affairs. Effective December 31, Dinh will step down from his current role and transition to a special advisory position within the company.
Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch expressed his appreciation for Dinh's contributions and service to Fox, both as a board member of 21st Century Fox and in his role over the past five years as a key member of Fox's leadership team. Murdoch also expressed his gratitude that Dinh will continue to serve Fox as a Special Advisor, providing valuable counsel to the company.
Implications for New Businesses
The departure of Viet Dinh from Fox Corp. following a significant legal settlement provides a crucial lesson for new businesses. It underscores the importance of responsible reporting and the potential legal ramifications of disseminating unsubstantiated information.
Legal Risks and Business Reputation
New businesses, particularly those in the media sector, must be aware of the potential legal risks associated with their operations. The defamation lawsuit filed by Dominion Voting Systems against Fox serves as a stark reminder of the potential costs of legal disputes, which can run into millions of dollars and significantly impact a company's bottom line.
Leadership Changes and Business Continuity
Dinh's decision to step down and transition into an advisory role also highlights the potential impact of legal disputes on a company's leadership. New businesses must have contingency plans in place to ensure business continuity in the event of sudden leadership changes.
In conclusion, the case of Fox Corp. and Viet Dinh offers valuable insights for new businesses. It underscores the importance of responsible business practices, the potential legal risks associated with business operations, and the need for effective leadership transition plans.
Article First Published at: https://www.cnbc.com/2023/08/11/fox-chief-legal-officer-viet-dinh-to-step-down.html
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