James Murdoch has stepped down as executive chairman of News International to focus on News Corp.'s expanding international television businesses, News Corp. announced Wednesday.

James Murdoch and his role at News International have come under scrutiny amid Britain's expanding phone-hacking scandal at Murdoch-owned titles.

In a statement, James, 39, thanked the dedication of his colleagues who he said worked "tirelessly to inform the public." He also praised the company's latest British newspaper, The Sun on Sunday, which had its first edition last weekend.

"With the successful launch of The Sun on Sunday and new business practices in place across all titles, News International is now in a strong position to build on its successes in the future," he said in a statement.

Tom Mockridge, chief executive of News International, will continue in his post and will report to News Corp. President and Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey, the company said in a statement.

Newscore and the Associated Press contributed to this report.