James Murdoch has resigned as chairman of satellite TV giant BSkyB.

He said he did not want his association with a tabloid phone hacking scandal to damage the company.

He said his previous work with News International, the publisher of the now closed News of the World tabloid, was proving a distraction. 

Murdoch's resignation comes just over a month after he quit as executive chairman of News International, which is owned by his father's News Corp.

 

"As attention continues to be paid to past events at News International, I am determined that the interests of BSkyB should not be undermined by matters outside the scope of this company," the 39-year-old said in a letter to the BSkyB board.

"I am aware that my role as chairman could become a lightning rod for BSkyB and I believe that my resignation will help to ensure that there is no false conflation with events at a separate organisation," he added.

BSkyB deputy chairman Nicholas Ferguson, who will take over Murdoch's job, offered the board's support to his predecessor, who will remain a non-executive director of the company.

"The board's support for James and belief in his integrity remain strong. We understand his decision to step aside at this time and we both welcome and look forward to his continued contribution as a non-executive director," he said.

Murdoch's resignation comes just over a month after he quit as executive chairman of News International, which is owned by his father's News Corp.

News Corp also owns 39% of BSkyB, but was forced to withdraw a takeover bid for the broadcaster last July because of the hacking scandal. Murdoch has always denied knowing that the practice of illegally accessing of voicemails was widespread at the News of the World, which his father shut down in July over the hacking scandal.