Another hacking arrest as News Corp shuffles board

Police have arrested a fifteenth person in connection with the phone hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch’s News International as two long-term board members resigned from its US parent News Corp.

An unnamed 34-year-old man is being questioned at a north London police station after being arrested on appointment, just days after police re-arrested the former News of the World managing editor Stuart Kuttner.

In the US, News Corp accepted two resignations in a reshuffle of its board as it seeks to improve its corporate governance reputation in the face of intense scrutiny of its ethics following the scandal.

Venture capitalist Thomas Perkins quit, just weeks after publicly backing Murdoch on the phone hacking scandal that has rocked the media empire.

Perkins, a director since 1996, did not explain his decision to leave. In 2006, he resigned from the board of Hewlett Packard in protest because of a scandal in which the company spied on directors and journalists to find information leaks.

Long-time News Corp director Kenneth Cowley is also quitting after 32 years.

News Corp meanwhile nominated Silicon Valley venture capitalist Jim Breyer as a director.

The board shuffle comes after corporate governance experts slammed the media company board for a lack of independence and weak influence after a phone hacking scandal at the News of the World.

News Corp closed the paper in July, but the fallout still reverberates through the company and threatens to destabilise its operations.

Breyer, a partner at Accel Partners, is best known as one of the early investors in Facebook, and also sits on the boards of Wal-Mart Stores and Dell Inc.

Breyer joins the board a few months after News Corp rid itself of social networking site Myspace, whose collapse is widely believed to have been prompted by the success of Facebook.

If Breyer is elected as a director, the board would shrink by one seat to 15 directors. News Corp's board is not seeking to nominate another director, but could return to a 16-member board in the future, a person familiar with the matter said.

There are now eight independent directors and seven News Corp insiders on the board.